FAMILY

Doctors report more COVID-19, and MIS-C cases in Utah kids

Oct 29, 2021, 6:53 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2022, 12:35 pm
utah covid children...
Kimberly Desmond, a registered nurse, draws a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at Rose Park Elementary in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY  —  Federal health officials have approved emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of five and 11.  Meanwhile, doctors in Utah say the number of kids with COVID-19 is on the rise. They also say another disease is on the rise, too.

When the Delta variant of COVID-19 arrived in Utah, doctors noticed a rise in the number of children between the ages of 5 and ten who tested positive.  Currently, health officials say kids in that age group account for 20% of all new cases.

Infectious disease doctor Andrew Pavia said more than 23-thousand kids have tested positive since August, which is more than they saw during all of the last school year.

However, Pavia says they’re also seeing an uptick in the number of children diagnosed with a rare but potentially deadly disease known as multi-system inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C.

“It’s a syndrome that involves serious inflammation of many organ systems,” he said.

According to Pavia, someone can get MIS-C after experiencing an infection elsewhere in the body. He said the immune system can be working even after the virus or infection had already passed. This syndrome can attack different portions of the body, but many kids come in with stomach problems. Pavia said many children exhibit the same symptoms as appendicitis.

“The organs that are most hard-hit are typically the liver and the heart.  It’s the heart damage that scares us the most,” Pavia said.  “There are also neurologic symptoms. The brain can be involved.”

There are 120 children being treated for MIS-C in Utah now, and many of them never knew they had COVID-19.  Pavia says doctors only learned the children had the novel coronavirus after looking at blood tests.

“They had never been tested and diagnosed with COVID.  Sometimes, they had such mild illness that nobody had noticed,” he said.

Utah children will benefit from COVID-19 vaccine

Pavia believes the vaccine will be a powerful tool in stopping MIS-C in kids now that the FDA has approved the Pfizer vaccine, in a reduced dose, for kids over the age of five.  However, he’s worried COVID-19 will continue to spread in schools since mask mandates aren’t being enforced.

“The best way to avoid MIS-C is to prevent infection, even mild infection.  Up until now, the ways that we’ve had to do that have been masking, social distancing, ventilation … all of the things you’re tired of hearing us talk about,” Pavia said.

Intermountain Healthcare has set up a family vaccination center in Primary Children’s Hospital called the “Shot Spot.”  He says doctors have been providing flu shots for families there, and plan to also distribute the COVID-19 vaccine for children when it becomes available.

Related articles:

Today’s Top Stories

Family

America First Credit Union gives back to Utah students....
Waverly Golden

Credit union donates 2,700 pairs of shoes to Utah students

This holiday season AFCU aims to give back 1,000 hours of service to the community as part of their Warm the Soles of Kids program.
17 hours ago
The Quiet Santa event allows kids with sensory issues to meet Santa. (Photo: Canva)...
Chris Jacobs

“Quiet Santa” provides space for kids with sensory issues

The University Place Mall is hosting a "Quiet Santa" event for kids with sensory issues like Autism. The event runs. through Dec. 10.
2 days ago
Holiday Police Pay-it-Forward event....
Waverly Golden

Salt Lake City Police Department hosts holiday Pay-it-Forward event

Salt Lake City Police Department along with SLC School District paired 50 children with a police officer for a holiday shopping experience.
5 days ago
This morning the Gary Sinise Foundation's Snowball Express made a pit stop at the new SLC Airport o...
Waverly Golden

Snowball Express arrives at Salt Lake City Airport

On Dec. 3 the Gary Sinise Foundation's Snowball Express made a pit stop at the new SLC Airport on its way to Orlando Walt Disney World. 
5 days ago
A new Utah population estimate finds that most of the people that moved to or within Utah between J...
Simone Seikaly

Utah population update: 60K+ people have moved here since 2021

The Utah population spike noted this year is the greatest increase in 16 years. However, growth is expected to decline going forward.
6 days ago
Ballet West "Nutcracker" battle scene....
Waverly Golden

Ballet West continues longstanding tradition, The Nutcracker

Until Dec. 24, Ballet West will be showing performances of The Nutcracker at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Doctors report more COVID-19, and MIS-C cases in Utah kids