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You may have heard about the rare, but very scary, health effects that COVID-19 can have on children. I am referring to MIS-C, which stands for Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome associated with COVID-19. In some cases, COVID-19 triggers an abnormal immune response that leads to widespread inflammation throughout the body.
The most common symptoms of MIS-C are persistent fevers, gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea), rash, conjunctivitis, mucous membrane involvement, headache/confusion, respiratory symptoms, sore throat, muscle aches, swelling to hands/feet, and lymphadenopathy. Most children who have MIS-C show laboratory evidence of a recent COVID-19 infection. When a child is suspected to have MIS-C, blood work is done to look for signs of increased inflammation in the body and to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms. In addition to this, an EKG (which looks at the electrical current in the heart) and an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) is done to look for damage. One of the most serious effects of MIS-C is heart damage.
Treatment for MIS-C is based on the severity of symptoms. Most children require hospital admission for medications to be administered in an IV. Some children require immediate resuscitative measures. Examples of medication that may be administered include antibiotics, IVIG (helps reduce inflammation), steroids, and aspirin. Cardiac monitoring is also performed in order to detect abnormal heart rhythms. Sometimes medications to help support the heart are also required.
There is a widespread misconception that only adults have severe health outcomes related to COVID-19. This, unfortunately, is not accurate. While MIS-C is very rare, it can lead to devastating consequences. While most children with MIS-C survive, the long-term effects are still not known. Please do not let your guard down when it comes to the health of your children! Even though the percentage of COVID-19 cases is decreasing, and the number of COVID-19 vaccines administered is increasing, it is imperative that we all continue to make wise choices. Limit social gatherings to smaller groups, wear masks when in public places, stay home when sick, and wash hands frequently!
Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care opened in 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. With multiple locations in San Antonio and Dallas, they are open seven days a week with extended evening hours and see walk-in patients or through an online check-in system. They accept most commercial insurance and Medicaid plans. More information about Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care can be found at www.littlespurspedi.com.