ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A local pediatrician is concerned about the recent increase in Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) among children. Doctor Elizabeth Murray says if the pattern continues, there could be another spike in the coming weeks.
The condition associated with COVID-19 was first reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in mid-May. It can cause different body parts to become inflamed and cause fever, chest tightness or pain, and a rash.
According to the CDC, children can get it as a result of contracting COVID-19 or being around someone with it.
Doctor Elizabeth Murray, a spokesperson of the American Association of Pediatrics, said the data is troublesome.
“The other respiratory winter viruses are coming around as well,” Murray said. “So we are already seeing an adult size of the hospital in incredibly high volumes and the need to then care for some of the younger adults done in the children’s hospital because of a need for space. We don’t know how many more numbers we are going to see if MIS-C starts to come around again.”
According to the CDC, most cases were reported in children between the age of one and 14 years, with an average age of eight. More than 75% of reported cases have occurred in Hispanic children or Latino (412 cases) or Black, Non-Hispanic (369 cases).
“People of color are more likely to hold jobs that are essential workers, and therefore they get exposed more,” Murray said. “Even if you look at the number of children who had COVID, it does seem to be more balanced out than perhaps in the adult population. We need to look further into the data to figure out if it is a correlation with high numbers of asthma or other reactive airway disease problems in the children,” said Murray.
Other health organizations also echo the concern among virus spread in minority communities. Most of these families are essential workers who may not have any other choice but to head to work rather than work from home. According to a report released by Common Ground Health, Blacks and Latinos are less likely to work remotely and more likely to use public transportation and live in multifamily households. The result could be putting minorities vulnerable and at high risk of contracting the virus and spreading it to other family members.
If parents are concerned about this particular syndrome, what can they do to prevent it?
“Keeping up with all of the suggestions, such as mask wearing, physical distancing, not attending gatherings in other peoples homes. These are the things we need to do right now. It can decrease the spread of infection and hopefully decrease the side effects might start to see you in the next 2 to 4 weeks,” said Murray.
Medical experts say most children develop the syndrome 2 to 4 weeks after infection with the coronavirus. They urge parents to seek medical attention if your child may be suffering.