Apr 7, 2021 - Health

Kids' illnesses trailed weeks behind COVID peaks

Illustration of a child surrounded by medical crosses receding into the distance
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Outbreaks of the respiratory infection known as MIS-C, which affects children who have contracted COVID-19, trailed a few weeks behind the coronavirus, ultimately following its path from cities out into more rural areas, according to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Why it matters: Although children are at a very low risk for severe COVID-19 infections, the lingering effects of MIS-C can be more serious.

By the numbers: The CDC has identified 3,185 cases of MIS-C since the onset of the pandemic. 36 children have died.

Details: The JAMA study found that peaks of MIS-C infection followed two to five weeks behind peaks in COVID-19 cases.

  • About 60% of the children in that analysis were admitted to intensive care units. Common symptoms included abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, well as skin rash, low blood pressure and heart problems.
  • Most of those cases stemmed from asymptomatic COVID-19 infections.

The bottom line: Widespread vaccination is making the pandemic far less deadly, but rising COVID-19 cases still have consequences.

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