The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory to thousands of doctors across the country [May 14], advising them to be on the lookout for a troubling new syndrome that may be associated with Covid-19 infection.
The syndrome, called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), has been seen in children across Europe and in at least 18 states, plus Washington, DC.
Doctors in the UK first alerted other doctors to the syndrome in April. Since then physicians in other countries, including Italy and France, have reported clusters of similar cases.
At first, the cases were believed to be Kawasaki disease, a rare, inflammatory condition that usually involves the major arteries and the heart. But there were too many cases for it to be Kawasaki, and the doctors agreed it was a different inflammatory syndrome. Many, but not all, of the children tested positive either for current Covid-19 infection, or a past infection.
The CDC said it was still gathering information about the cases.
“There is limited information currently available about risk factors, pathogenesis, clinical course, and treatment for MIS-C. CDC is requesting healthcare providers report suspected cases to public health authorities to better characterize this newly recognized condition in the pediatric population.”