A life-threatening syndrome associated with COVID-19 that affects children and teenagers has been identified.
Initial research into Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) has found it tends to develop between two to four weeks after coronavirus infection.
Nearly 300 cases of the condition have been recorded and symptoms include fever, rashes, swollen glands and, in severe cases, heart inflammation.
Professor Michael Levin, professor of pediatrics and international child health at Imperial College London, has written an editorial on the subject having looked at the studies related to the newly discovered condition.
He said: “There is a concern that children meeting current diagnostic criteria for MIS-C are the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and a bigger problem may be lurking below the waterline.”
The Boston Children’s Hospital led the first study and discovered 186 cases of MIS-C in 26 US states. Further investigation found that four out of five children required, one out of five needed ventilation and four people ended up dying.
The second study was based in New York where 95 MIS-C cases were confirmed. Figures showed that four out of five people were admitted to an intensive care unit and two passed away. Worldwide there are been more than 1,000 cases discovered.
Senior Epidemiologist Ana Fernandez Menjivra said: “As our understanding of COVID-19 grows, and as patients continue to recover, more additional long-term complications and rare effects on various demographics could emerge.
“As a result, it will be a while before we gain a full understanding of the medical impacts of this disease. This pediatric syndrome has been tied to the COVID-19 because most cases either tested positive at the time their symptoms developed or had a positive antibody test.”