Multisystem Inflammatory Disorder: No Longer So Rare


Photo Credit to Boston Children’s Hospital

Ava Paolucci, Staff Reporter, Sophomore

It is commonly circulated that Coronavirus is less harmful to younger people with only very rare instances of serious complications or death.  As a year approaches since the first case of COVID-19 in America, the supposedly rare instances of serious COVID related complications in kids is becoming more and more common. This has been characterized through reports of Multisystem Inflammatory Disorder, which is predicted to be making an increase in the younger generation and is expected to continue an upward trend. 

Multisystem Inflammatory Disorder, also known as MIS-C, causes different body parts to become inflamed, mainly affecting the lungs, heart, brain, kidneys, skin, gastrointestinal organs, or eyes.  Along with the inflammation, victims may experience gut pain, diarrhea, rashes, bloodshot eyes, neck pain, throwing up, or feeling fatigued.  While the doctors say they don’t know the cause of the disorder it has been directly linked with being exposed to or having gotten COVID-19.  The disorder is seen most prominently in children, specifically those from one to 14 years old.    

According to the first report by the CDC on the disorder, “186 patients with MIS-C in 26 states. The median age was 8.3 years, 115 patients (62%) were male, 135 (73%) had previously been healthy, 131 (70%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR or antibody testing, and 164 (88%) were hospitalized after April 16, 2020.”        

As the number of children who are diagnosed with Coronavirus increase the cases of MIS-C will continue to rise.  The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia had been seeing about two cases of the disease per month during the summer whereas in December that number increased to ten.

Dr. Jean Ballweg from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia went on record, saying, “We know that over 50% of our pediatric patients are having cardiac manifestations of MIS-C and they’re serious. Some of our kids have needed to be on a heart-lung machine. Many have needed to be intubated and IV meds to support the heart. We have a follow-up program and will up for a year after discharge. I suspect those with heart issues, we will follow indefinitely.”  

The long term effects like with most corona related issues are still unknown.  The OU Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma claims that they’ve seen around two dozen cases and are expecting more.  Some of the cases they have reported have not been added to the CDC’s count which is currently at 1,659.  The CDC acknowledges the fact that they are probably missing cases and will be updating a webpage designated to the disorder monthly.  

According to the CDC New York has had over 51 cases, being one of the more affected states.  MIS-A the strain of the disorder seen in adults is still so rare that statistics have not been released.  Doctors are advising keeping an eye out for symptoms and making sure children wear face masks.