The World Health Organization (WHO) is investigating a possible connection between COVID-19 and a rare but serious health condition in children called Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).
At a press briefing from Geneva on Friday, WHO officials noted that while some of the children with MIS-C have tested positive for COVID-19, others have not, and the organization is trying to establish whether there is a link and to what extend.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has made a connection between COVID-19 and Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).
Scientists around the world are already working hard to understand the new syndrome and how best to treat it. They still do not know who is most at risk for the new illness.
“In the past weeks, reports from Europe and North America have described a small number of children being admitted to intensive care units with a multi-system inflammatory condition with some features similar to Kawasaki’s disease and toxic shock syndrome,” WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at the briefing in Geneva.
“Initial reports hypothesize that this syndrome may be related to COVID-19. It is critical to urgently and carefully characterize this clinical syndrome, to understand causality and to describe treatment interventions,” he said.
He said with our global clinical network for COVID-19, WHO has developed a preliminary case definition and a case report form for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children.
“I call on all clinicians worldwide to work with your national authorities and WHO to be on the alert and better understand this syndrome in children. I will repeat this, I call on all clinicians worldwide to work with your national authorities and WHO to be on the alert and better understand this syndrome in children”.
Parents are urged to call their pediatrician if their child is having a fever lasting more than 24 hours, abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting, rash or changes in skin color, trouble breathing, or if their child seems confused or overly sleepy.
They should let the pediatrician know if their child has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to the virus, an information that will guide the pediatrician on deciding whether their child can be seen in the office or should be taken to the emergency department.