A new study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine helps paint a picture of how multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) has affected the US in the wake of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The findings, led by the Overcoming COVID-19 Investigators and the CDC COVID-19 Response Team, helped define characteristics of 186 affected patients across 26 states since mid-March. They found the median patient age was about 8 years old, nearly two-thirds were male, 73% were previously healthy, and 88% were hospitalized after April 16.
Additionally, investigators learned the most common biomarkers among children with the syndrome brought on by SARS-CoV-2 infection were pertaining to inflammation. As such, most treating clinicians used immuno modulating therapy on patients.
Lastly, these patients were presenting with symptoms in regions that were hotspots for adult COVID-19 cases—only, about 2 weeks after cases were spiking.
What do we do with this information? How does it change our understanding of how the pandemic could affect children? And what else needs to be learned?
In an interview with Contagion®, study co-author Manish Patel, MD, a member of the CDC COVID-19 Response Team, explained the characteristics of the multi-inflammatory syndrome currently being observed in pediatric patients across the country.
Patel also touched on how clinical understanding of this syndrome and similar pediatric coronavirus-related syndromes have evolved since instances of Kawasaki disease began appearing in regions like Italy earlier this year.
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