More than 150 children in California have been diagnosed with a rare, potentially life-threatening syndrome associated with the CCP virus since the outbreak first began in March.
As of Dec. 14, least 152 children in the state have been diagnosed with the condition, officially called “Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Potentially Associated with COVID-19,” or MIS-C, according to California’s Department of Public Health.
In the week between Dec. 7 and Dec. 14, seven new MIS-C diagnoses were recorded in the state.
The condition is similar to Kawasaki disease (KD), also known as Kawasaki syndrome, according to doctors. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes KD as an acute febrile illness of unknown cause that primarily affects children aged 5 and younger.
MIS-C meanwhile causes symptoms such as a persistent fever of at least 100.4 degrees, hypotension, multiorgan involvement, rashes, swollen glands, and elevated inflammatory markers, the CDC said in a May advisory.
The CDC defines the rare condition as occurring in people aged 21 and younger, with symptoms such as fever, evidence of inflammation, illness severe enough to require hospitalization, and impairment of multiple organs such as the heart, kidneys, blood vessels, gut, skin, and nerves.
The state health department urged parents in a Dec. 14 release to contact a doctor immediately if their child presents the listed symptoms.
The CDC said that the majority of children developed the syndrome two to four weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, with slightly more than half (56 percent) of reported cases being male.
“Healthcare providers who have cared or are caring for patients younger than 21 years of age meeting MIS-C criteria should report suspected cases to their local, state, or territorial health department,” the CDC advisory said.
To meet the criteria, doctors should rule out other plausible diagnoses. Children with the condition should also test positive for current infection with the CCP virus or for antibodies demonstrating a recent infection.