The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance on treating children during the pandemic to include information on a new illness associated with COVID-19.
The agency said it was working with domestic and international partners to better understand multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), including how common it is and its risk factors.
There are 220 possible and confirmed cases in 20 states and Washington D.C. of the illness in children, according to an ABC News analysis. There have also been three reported deaths.
Some of the cases have tested positive for either COVID-19 or antibodies, while some others have tested negative. Many of the cases are still under investigation.
Children with MIS-C have presented to hospitals with a persistent fever and a variety of symptoms, including multiorgan (e.g., cardiac, gastrointestinal, renal, hematologic, dermatologic, neurologic) involvement and elevated inflammatory markers, according to the CDC.
However, the CDC warned pediatricians that some children may exhibit symptoms not listed
It is possible that a child will begin exhibiting symptoms of MIS-C weeks after they were infected with COVID-19, according to the CDC. However, a child may not have displayed symptoms for COVID-19 and both the child and parents may not have even known they were infected.
The CDC said that evaluating a child for MIS-C could include a chest X-ray, echocardiography or blood testing to determine if there is inflammation.
For questions on the illness, the CDC’s 24-hour Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 is open.