CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia child has a rare, serious immune system condition associated with the coronavirus, health officials said Thursday.
The Department of Health and Human Resources said the child was the first in the state to be diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 570 U.S. have children contracted the condition and 10 died.
“This development is an unfortunate reminder that COVID-19 does not just affect the elderly,” Dr. Ayne Amjad, the state’s health officer, said in a news release. “We must continue to be diligent in our efforts to protect each other by social distancing, wearing masks in public and following all recommendations of local, state and federal health experts.”
Forty other states had reported similar cases from mid-February to mid-July. The CDC said a study found many of the patients with the condition had severe complications, including inflammation of the heart, shock, and kidney damage. Nearly two-thirds of the cases overall were admitted to intensive care units, and the average ICU stay was five days.
Some children with the syndrome have symptoms resembling Kawasaki disease, another rare childhood condition that can cause swelling and heart problems. Other symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes or feeling extra tired.
The statement from the DHHR came as the state reported the second-highest number of positive cases from the virus Thursday. The 180 cases were surpassed only by the 184 cases reported on July 30.
According to health officials, there have been nearly 9,000 confirmed cases and 166 virus-related deaths in West Virginia. The virus usually results in only mild to moderate symptoms but is particularly dangerous for the elderly and people with other health problems.
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