CHAPEL HILL, NC (WTVD) — Even though children aren’t at a high risk for mortality from COVID-19, a lingering effect of the virus is affecting dozens of North Carolina’s kids.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a condition that can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or stomach and intestines. The condition causes the body’s immune system–which usually fights off disease-causing pathogens like bacteria and viruses–to attack the child’s internal organs, resulting in symptoms like stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, sore muscles, rash, bloodshot eyes and/or fatigue.
While the cause of MIS-C isn’t well known or well understood, 99% of children who get the syndrome previously tested positive for COVID-19; the remaining 1% were around another person who had COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most children that developed the condition did so two to four weeks after they were infected with COVID-19.
And Dr. Eve Wu, a pediatric immunologist at UNC Children’s, said the syndrome can be quite acute.
“The important thing to recognize is that these children can be quite ill. Even though we think that COVID-19 infections or consequences of COVID-19 might be mild in children, we at UNC Children’s have seen what it can do in its worst form and that includes children affected by this multisystem inflammatory syndrome.”