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Officials in Virginia have announced what is thought to be the state’s first case of a mysterious inflammatory condition that primarily affects children and is possibly linked to the novel coronavirus.
Virginia Health Commissioner Norman Oliver during a daily press conference on Monday said that the state has seen at least one case of “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children,” or MIS-C. The syndrome has been paralleled to Kawasaki disease or a condition that causes swelling in medium-sized arteries throughout the body.
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“We have learned of one case [of] MIS-C at this point and that’s the only one we have,” Oliver said, according to local news station WRIC. “We are currently getting the data on that, we haven’t yet reported it as we’ve just learned of it.”
No other details were provided, including the child’s age, location, or current condition.
A seemingly growing list of states have reported cases of MIS-C, with officials in both Oregon and Mississippi reporting their first cases late last week.
Previously, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital (YNHCH) in Connecticut announced three cases of the condition in pediatric coronavirus patients there. The cases are said to be the state’s first and have since been reported to the Connecticut Department of Public health, the hospital said in a news release.
The condition has also affected several patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in California, as well as at least one child in Louisiana.
A 6-month-old who was hospitalized in California with Kawasaki disease last month also tested positive for COVID-19, Reuters reported at the time. Meanwhile, physicians in Washington, D.C., have also recently reported cases of the mysterious condition.
Additionally, at least three young children in New York died after being hospitalized with the rare Kawasaki disease-like illness, said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this month.
More cases of the Kawasaki disease-like inflammatory condition are likely to pop up in other children around the country as the virus continues to spread, experts have warned, and the increasing number of cases prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week to issue an advisory regarding MIS-C.
The news comes after British health authorities, in a warning to health care professionals in late April, said that some severely ill pediatric patients in the country — including some who were positive for the coronavirus — presented an “unusual clinical picture” that included inflammatory symptoms possibly linked to COVID-19.
The U.K. Pediatric Intensive Care Society (PICS), citing an email alert from the National Health Service (NHS) in England, said in a news release that health officials had reported “a small rise in the number of cases of critically ill children presenting with an unusual clinical picture” at the time. More specifically, the news release said, it is a “multi-system inflammatory state” that may be connected to the novel virus.
“The cases have in common overlapping features of toxic shock syndrome and atypical Kawasaki disease with blood parameters consistent with severe COVID-19 in children. Abdominal pain and gastrointestinal symptoms have been a common feature as has cardiac inflammation,” the NHS notice reads, according to PICS.
MIS-C can also cause persistent fever, rashes, vomiting, and diarrhea, among other symptoms such as a red tongue and eyes.
Dr. Jacqueline Szmuszkovicz, a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, recently said that children who have a fever that lasts for four or more days should seek medical attention.
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“Certainly, if they see any of the other signs — the rash, the red tongue, red eyes — we encourage them to seek care,” she told The Los Angeles Times.
A spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Health did not immediately return Fox News’s request for additional comment on Tuesday.