Health official: 44 cases of coronavirus-related children's ailment in La.
The four Louisiana children who have died from a condition linked to COVID-19 were among 44 state children who developed the condition and more than 570 nationwide, a top state health official said Tuesday.
The condition is called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. And it’s becoming a larger public health issue as the number of COVID-infected children increases, said Dr. Alex Billioux, assistant director of the Louisiana Department of Health, at Tuesday’s press conference on the coronavirus in Louisiana.
A total of 11,382 children are COVID-positive in Louisiana, Billioux said. A small number of them develop MIS-C during or after COVID-19 infection.
“It’s appears to be largely driven by the immune system of the children and again is associated with having COVID-19 …,” Billoux said.
“Part of what challenges people and leads to poor health is the direct impact the virus has on lungs. But this virus seems also to trigger very strong immune responses, and those responses are something very prominent, especially in people, adults or children, who are ending up in the intensive care units and on ventilators.”
The condition tends to affect three organ systems — the heart, kidneys and lungs. Two systems are affected in about a quarter of cases, Billioux said.
MIS-C sometimes results in an inflammation of the heart and a reduction in blood pressure.
The symptoms include gastrointestinal upsets such as nausea and diarrhea, difficulty in breathing, a rash and redness of the eyes.
The four children who died from MIS-C ranged in age from two months to 19 years old, Billioux said.
Currently, there is no specific treatment for children suffering from either COVID-19 or MIS-C, he said.