As COVID-19 has spread throughout the country, public health officials have discovered an alarming increase in the incidence of a rare but serious inflammatory disease that affects children.
Called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, the condition causes inflammation in different parts of the body such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes and gastrointestinal organs. Symptoms can include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, swollen feet, rapid heartbeat, bloodshot eyes, a red tongue and fatigue.
Most children recover with medical intervention, though the condition can be fatal.
“We don’t know why certain children develop MIS-C while others do not, but it appears to be a unique immune response that can develop after a COVID-19 infection or an exposure to the illness,” says Dr. Lucretia Carter, a pediatrician with Tidelands Health Pediatrics in Myrtle Beach. “Although fatalities are rare, MIS-C can become quite severe and typically requires hospitalization.”