FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — A child in Northern Virginia is the first confirmed case in the state of a pediatric inflammatory illness associated with the new coronavirus.
Health department officials on Tuesday confirmed the case of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children in the Fairfax Health District, which includes Fairfax County and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.
Officials say the child was hospitalized May 5 and has since been discharged and is recovering at home.
No other details, including the age of the child, were provided.
While children have generally not experienced severe cases of COVID-19 associated with the new coronavirus, health officials have warned recently of a new inflammatory illness related to the virus that has affected children in New York and elsewhere. Maryland officials reported the first death in that state from the syndrome Tuesday, a 15-year-old from Baltimore County.
The Centers for Disease Control issued an advisory about the syndrome May 14, warning of symptoms including fever, abdominal pain without another explanation, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, red or cracked lips, bumpy tongue, and swollen hands and feet.
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05/19/2020 Release from the Virginia Department of Health:
(Richmond, Va.) —The Fairfax Health District has confirmed a case of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. This is the first case of MIS-C reported in Virginia. The child was hospitalized on May 5 and has since been discharged and is recovering at home. To protect privacy, no other patient information will be disclosed.
MIS-C, previously called Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, is a new health condition associated with COVID-19. The first reports of this syndrome came from the United Kingdom in late April. U.S. cases were first reported in New York City in early May.
MIS-C may cause problems with a child’s heart and other organs. Most children with MIS-C have fever lasting several days and may show symptoms of irritability or decreased activity, abdominal pain without another explanation, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, conjunctivitis, lack of appetite, red or cracked lips, red or bumpy tongue, or swollen hands and feet.
Virginia Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A., provided information and guidance on the syndrome to health care providers in Virginia in a May 15 Clinician Letter.
“I urge all health care providers in Virginia to immediately report any patient who meets these criteria to the local health department by the most rapid means,” said Dr. Oliver. “All Virginians should take steps to avoid exposure to COVID-19 by practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing cloth face coverings if appropriate.” Cloth face coverings are not recommended for children under 2 years old.
Parents should watch for persistent fever in their children and contact their pediatrician if a child appears especially ill.
The CDC issued a Health Advisory on May 14 about the syndrome, which may include symptoms of persistent fever, hypotension, multisystem organ involvement and elevated markers of inflammation. It is not currently known how common it may be for children to experience these symptoms.