COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– Parents are sending their children back to daycare and while the threat of COVID-19 still exists there is now another mystery illness causing some concern. According to the Ohio Department of Health, we only have one case of this new syndrome in Ohio, in Cleveland. But parents sending their kids back to daycare right now cant help but worry about the unknown.
“Everything is so new you don’t know what to believe.” Abby Flinn has to get back to work which means she has to send her son back to daycare. “It’s pretty nerve wracking in general I mean you don’t want your kid to get sick and you don’t want him to bring something home and we all get sick.”
Flinn says shes seen stories about MIS-C on the news but didn’t know much about it. She says no matter what, she has to send Everett back to daycare so she hopes the safety protocols are enough to keep him safe.
Dr. Guliz Erdem, a member of our infectious disease team says they “don’t really know what this syndrome is. We’re one month into this illness and we already have three definitions.”
Dr. Erdem explains that the median age diagnoses for MIS-C is about 11. “With this CDC definition we are looking into kids who have significant elevated inflammation they are coming in with high fevers and one organ system is involved and that could be the abdomen lungs, heart and occasionally the nervous system.”
Dr. Simon Lee, a Cardiology Physician at Nationwide Children’s hospital says one of the big things, like the name says, it it can cause a lot of inflammation which is a normal reaction of the body to any sort of infection, “but in this case it becomes much more out of proportion to what the body actually needs to fight the infection and that’s what causes a lot of the symptoms like fever and the multi-system part of this means it can affect any system.”
Dr. Erdem explains that because this illness is so new, there is little known about the treatments or long term effects but what we do know is promising.
“Most of these kids that have been described have been very sick but the majority have done really well in a short period of time, so short version is we don’t exactly know what this is we know there is a relationship between Covid-19 because all of these cases seem to follow about 3 weeks after the infection peaked in those regions.”
She says that most children, as we know, don’t have a big problems with Covid-19 unlike adults and the majority of children so extremely well and may even carry the virus without knowing it or showing any symptoms.
Dr. Lee says right now its important to educate our parents about what to look for.
“The important thing about this is we need to raise awareness about the symptoms so parents can we aware of a child is having high fevers or any GI symptoms that seem different than what they typically see. I think that’s the key part so they can reach out to the doctor.”
I asked Dr Lee and Dr. Erdem about the future. Dr. Erdem says with how proactive Ohio has been and the lower amount of cases of Covid-19 it’s not likely that MIS-C will become a major issue. “We may not see such a significant increase in the MIS-C cases which is very fortune for us but we don’t know.”
As for Abby Flinn, she says she can worry but it won’t do anyone any good. “I think we’re to the point we have to live our lives we have to get out there and I have to send my kids to daycare and we’ll go from there.”
Here is a description from the CDC of the symptoms to look for in your child:
- Abdominal pain
- Neck pain
- Bloodshot eyes
- Feeling extra tired
Seek emergency care right away if your child is showing any of these emergency warning signs of MIS-C or other concerning signs:
- Trouble breathing
- Pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
- Severe abdominal pain