A serious pediatric illness has been linked to a similar condition in adults. Coronavirus inhabiting the gut could be the cause—and it may explain long-lasting symptoms, too.
COUNT THE U.S. children who have caught COVID-19 since February, and you’d soon outnumber the population of Boston.
Fortunately, most of these 697,000 confirmed or probable cases have had comparatively mild illness—and somewhere between 16 and 45 percent of children may not manifest any symptoms at all. Yet some in this group—clinically defined as those under the age of 21—go on to develop a serious condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C.
Thanks to months of urgent research, what began as a mysterious spectrum of symptoms has coalesced into a definable illness, with early signs that include fever, rashes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Though MIS-C is rare—with 1,027 confirmed cases in the U.S. so far—it can develop into severe inflammation in a matter of hours, often requires intensive care, and is sometimes fatal. A recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed coronavirus fatalities in people under 21 and found that the majority were from MIS-C.
“It happens so rapidly, and the kids are so ill, that 70 percent will require admission into an ICU,” says Alvaro Moreira, a physician scientist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio who recently published an analysis of results from multiple scientific papers in EClinicalMedicine based on 662 cases of MIS-C.Original Source