A team of Illinois doctors are working on understanding a rare but potentially deadly condition linked to COVID-19 in children and are collecting data to develop a formal report on the illness in the coming days.
The condition, which the CDC calls "multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children," or MIS-C, has been reported in at least 19 states including Illinois.
During Thursday’s coronavirus update press briefing, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said a team of Illinois doctors along with specialists in Kawasaki disease met to discuss the condition and strategize an effort to better track cases.
“The goals of the meeting were to identify the specific features of the spectrum of disorders and to be looking out for a constellation of symptoms so that they can in fact, start reporting new cases going forward and also turn back and look at cases that might fit this description that they've seen in the past,” Ezike said. “We'll put that guidance out next week and then we'll be collecting the data to get a formal report.”
Also on Thursday, the CDC issued a report to physicians on the mystery illness and provided guidance for diagnosis of MIS-C.
The CDC diagnostic criteria include a fever of at least 100.4 degrees for at least 24 hours, evidence of inflammation in the body and hospitalization with problems in at least two organs (such as the heart, the kidneys or the lungs).
Other reported symptoms include vomiting, upset stomach, red eyes, diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes and a rash. In more severe cases, children have even gone into cardiac arrest.
As of Thursday, At least 110 cases have been reported in New York, and three young people — ages 5, 7 and 18 — have died. New Jersey has at least 17 cases, and California has six. Other states, such as Illinois, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Washington, have also reported cases.