WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) — A rare, dangerous inflammatory condition associated with the new coronavirus occurred in at least 285 U.S. children by mid/late May, and the risk for long-lasting or permanent harm isn’t known, according to two new studies.
Researchers found that most of the 285 children who developed what’s known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome condition recovered, but six died, the Associated Press reported.
The studies — one a multi-state study and one that focused on New York — were published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Cases have occurred in at least 35 states, and they seem to appear within a few weeks after local COVID-19 activity peaks, according to Dr. Adrienne Randolph of Boston Children’s Hospital, lead researcher of one of the studies, the AP reported.
The studies found 285 cases from March until mid/late May, but more U.S. children have been diagnosed in June, Randolph said.
The average age of the children was 8 years, and most had current or recent COVID-19 infections, but most had no other health conditions. About 30% were obese, and Hispanic and Black children and boys appeared to be disproportionately affected, the AP reported.
The multi-state study found that about 80% of patients had heart-associated problems, including a potentially deadly bulge in a heart artery called a coronary aneurysm.
“Those need to be followed up,” Randolph said. “This is a life-threatening concern for a lot of patients.”
Multi-system inflammatory syndrome has affected about 1,000 children worldwide, according to a journal editorial.
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