Children's Wisconsin identifies suspected cases of rare inflammatory condition

Published: May. 29, 2020 at 8:30 AM CDT
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Children's Wisconsin has identified its first suspected cases of a rare inflammatory condition in children.

The condition is known as Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). It has been seen in children with COVID-19 or those who have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Press Conference on Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

Michael Gutzeit, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Wisconsin, and Frank Zhu, MD, Medical Director for Infection Control and Prevention at Children's Wisconsin, discussed the first suspected cases of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) in Wisconsin. NOTE: There is a technical issue at the start of this stream with the first 1 minute of the conference. Watch the full version of this press conference here:

Posted by Children's Wisconsin on Friday, May 29, 2020

MIS-C is described as "a new and rare inflammatory response that causes swelling in different organs, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs."

Symptoms include a persistent high fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, swelling of hands and feet, red eyes, and red tongue.

Doctors draw similarities between MIS-C and Kawasaki Disease which causes inflammation in children mostly under the age of five for unknown reasons.

"Because it looks a lot like Kawasakis to us, we know how to treat that, and so that's how these things are being treated and it seems to be working," said Dr. Brian Hartinger, a pediatrician at Bellin Health.

Bellin Health treats approximately five or six cases of Kawasaki Disease each year. Dr. Hartinger says a protocol for MIS-C has been created using two treatments: IV steroids and IV immunoglobulin (IVIG).

"Parents should know that we're aware of it and we're looking for it and that we're prepared for it," said Dr. Hartinger.

Children's Wisconsin says most children have recovered from the syndrome, either in the hospital or at home.

Children's Hospital says it has a team dedicated to identifying and treating children with MIS-C.

The suspected MIS-C cases have been reported to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. They are the first known cases of MIS-C in Wisconsin.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first issued a health alert about MIS-C in the United States on May 14. New York was the first state to report the condition.

The CDC says the best way to prevent MIS-C is protecting children from the spread of COVID-19. That includes hand washing, physical distancing, avoiding people who are sick, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

to learn more about MIS-C.