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Live Mic: COVID-19-linked illness targets children

The Granite School District wants to give parents more information about how many COVID-19 cases are on each campus. But they say they're hitting a snag. A new illness that targets children has been linked to COVID-19. (Granite School District)

SALT LAKE CITY — The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have spawned a new ailment that targets children. 

More than 790 American kids have become infected with a rare but serious medical condition linked to COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports MIS-C is associated with 16 deaths in 42 states and Washington, D.C.

Dr. Marion Bishop, an emergency-room doctor practicing in Logan and Brigham City, joined Lee Lonsberry on Live Mic to explain what parents need to know about the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

 

COVID-19 targets children

Dr. Bhiops notes while MIS-C is rare, it still poses a serious risk for children and there’s a little complication with detecting the illness. 

When kids who have or are recovering from COVID-19, “come down with symptoms of [MIS-C], they test them and realize they have antibodies, and these kids have just been asymptomatic,” Bishop said.

According to Dr. Bishop, the children to worry about have either recovered from COVID-19 or been around a family member or a friend who has had coronavirus.

The CDC mentions MIS-C can cause inflammation in the heart, lungs, kidney, liver, brain, skin and eyes. 

“Children who have this get a profound fever. It lasts for a couple of days,” Bishop said. She said infected kids can experience vomiting, diarrhea and develop a rash.

“Their eyes may be bloodshot or like they have pink eye,” she said. “They might also complain of chest tightness because one of the scary things that this disease does is cause inflammation and it affects the heart.

“If someone in the family had COVID-19, and you have all recovered and are doing well, then all of a sudden you have a child who has a fever that has come out of nowhere and starts with a lot of vomiting, I would call the pediatrician,” Bishop said.

She added that for MIS-C to be treated accurately, the infected child needs to be in a hospital because of the inflammation — especially in the heart — that develops in patients.

Symptoms of MIS-C include:

• Fever that lasts 24 hours or longer
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Pain in the stomach
• Skin rash
• Red eyes
• Redness or swelling of the lips and tongue
• Feeling unusually tired
• Redness or swelling of the hands or feet

Emergency warning signs of MIS-C include:

• Inability to wake up or stay awake
• Difficulty breathing
• Chest pain or pressure that doesn’t go away
• New confusion
• Bluish lips or face
• Severe stomach pain

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.