CDC issues alert to doctors on rare COVID-19 ‘mystery illness’ in kids


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The illness was given an official name: MIS-C, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children.

May 14, 2020
The CDC’s health alert provides guidance for diagnosis of MIS-C. The diagnostic criteria include a fever of at least 100.4 degrees for at least 24 hours, evidence of inflammation in the body and hospitalization with problems in at least two organs (such as the heart, the kidneys or the lungs).
Also necessary for a diagnosis is evidence of COVID-19, either through a diagnostic test or a test that looks for antibodies to the coronavirus or through recent exposure to someone with the virus.
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Doctors who’ve treated cases have said the illness mirrors many of the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease, including severe inflammation of the coronary arteries.

Much remains unknown.
“There is limited information currently available about risk factors, pathogenesis, clinical course, and treatment for MIS-C,” the CDC’s alert reads.
“The CDC is requesting healthcare providers report suspected cases to public health authorities to better characterize this newly recognized condition in the pediatric population.”
The alert suggests that patients younger than 21 would qualify for the diagnosis, but it also said it’s unknown whether adults, too, could develop the condition.

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