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MIS-C: The long-lasting impact of COVID on kids

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Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 5:11 AM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- The move is on to get kids as young as five years old vaccinated against COVID-19. The rush is in response to an increasing number of children getting COVID and then experiencing inflammation throughout their bodies. Ivanhoe shows us it can impact kids for months, possibly even years.

Jackson Thorn has got game … whether he’s shooting hoops … or playing a game of catch. Not much slowed this 12-year-old down. Until …

“My head started hurting and my stomach started hurting,” explained Jackson.

“He woke up in the middle of the night and was wheezing,” said Amy Polly, Jackson’s mom.

Jackson was suffering from an after-effect of COVID in kids called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MIS-C for short.

“I see kids with MIS-C and I see this post inflammatory reaction to COVID is really just like nothing I’ve seen in my career before,” stated Megan Cooper, MD, a pediatric rheumatologist immunologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Dr. Cooper said that many of her patients, like Jackson, didn’t even know they had COVID until they started feeling the after-effects of MIS-C, causing inflammation in the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, and digestive organs.

“This is not the flu. This is not a bad cold,” continued Dr. Cooper.

“I felt scared because I didn’t know what was wrong with me,” shared Jackson.

Symptoms include a high fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

“All of a sudden he would go from feeling okay to a super high fever, terrible headache, all within a matter of like five minutes,” said Amy.

Jackson spent eight days in the hospital which included a ten-hour IV infusion, followed by two weeks of steroids. Jackson is now feeling better. Dr. Cooper said the best way to avoid MIS-C is to avoid getting COVID.

“Get vaccinated, please,” stated Dr. Cooper.

Black and Hispanic children have been disproportionally impacted by MIS-C. Doctors don’t know why some kids with COVID get MIS-C and some don’t, or how long symptoms will last. But symptoms usually occur within two to four weeks after having the virus or being around someone who had it. Interestingly, researchers believe that in the future, COVID-19 will primarily impact very young children, as most everyone else will be vaccinated.

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