Wisconsin child dies from condition associated with COVID-19

A southeast Wisconsin child under the age of 10 is the first in the state to die from a condition associated with COVID-19.

The condition is called Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome – or MIS-C for short. There are specific signs you can look for to get your children the treatment they need.

"Usually starts off with a lingering fever, and then it can go into chest pain, abdominal pain, some of which can be very severe," said Tom Haupt. 

Haupt is a respiratory disease epidemiologist with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). He said MIS-C starts anywhere from two to six weeks after a child's exposure to COVID-19.

"About 60% of our cases actually need to be admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit," Haupt said.

Haupt said lab tests usually reveal inflammation in organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain.

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"The main sign that we want parents to know is if they have a lingering fever, where the anti… the fever lowering medications… Tylenol… whatever the case may be, where they are not working," Haupt said.

DHS officials say since the beginning of the pandemic, Wisconsin has reported 183 MIS-C cases – the majority of them being cases between the ages of three and 11. 

Doctors say while MIS-C is rare, it is more common in Black and Hispanic children. DHS officials say it is not clear why – and it continues to collect data.

Haupt encourages parents to get their children, ages five and up, vaccinated. 

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"For those parents of children who are 3 or 4-years-old cannot be vaccinated, we are strongly encouraging them to get the family vaccinated and friends," Haupt said.

Treatments for MIS-C include steroid and blood thinners. DHS officials say they are still working to find out if the 10-year-old child that died was vaccinated.


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