OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The state of Nebraska is reporting its first two cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, also known as MIS-C.
"This is rare," Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Kari Neemann said. "It's in the news but it's rare. We have treatments available and so far the children appear to be responding to those therapies. It is not subtle. Your child will look sick and you're going to use those parental instincts. You have to seek out care."
The Douglas County Health Department confirmed its first case Monday. Health officials say they believe the disease is linked to COVID-19.
"The boy was exposed to household members with COVID-19 and he himself had a positive COVID-19 test in the hospital which could mean present infection or previous infection," Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said.
The patient, a boy younger than 12, has been in the hospital for about a week.
"In this case the individual had fever, rash, fatigue and abdominal pain," Dr. Pour said.
Another second child in Dawson County was also diagnosed with MIS-C. That child is also hospitalized.
Dr. Neemann says some symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, red cracked lips, red (strawberry) tongue, as well as swollen hands and feet.
"Seek emergency care if your child is having trouble breathing," Dr. Neemann said. "[Or if] they're complaining of pain or pressure in their chest, new confusion, they won't wake up or having difficulty staying awake, blue-ish lips or face or sever abdominal pain."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the case definition for MIS-C is very specific.
"It needs to be an individual 20 years or younger, presenting with a fever and the fever was specific 100.4 degrees or more for more than 24 hours," Dr. Pour said.
She also tells 3 News Now people must also have lab evidence of inflammation, clinically severe illness requiring hospitalization and a positive COVID-19 test, or exposure.
Dr. Neeman says it's important to continue safe practices to avoid the disease.
"I think we all know this, by limiting potential COVID-19 exposures, by utilizing masks when we're out in the community, by performing adequate hand hygiene and by social distancing," Dr. Neeman said.
Fast facts about Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children:
- MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.
- Experts are working to determine the exact cause of MIS-C.
- Many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19 or had been around someone with COVID-19.
- Symptoms of MIS-C include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, feeling extra tired.
- If parents see potential symptoms of MIS-C in their child, they should contact their health care provider immediately.
- MIS-C can be serious and there have been deaths associated with the syndrome, but most children diagnosed with MIS-C have gotten better with medical care according to the CDC.
- Based on what is known about MIS-C, the best way to protect your child is by taking everyday actions to prevent your child and other household members from getting COVID-19 - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children/protect-children.html [link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com]
- Parents or caregivers who have concerns about their child’s health, including concerns about COVID-19 or MIS-C, should call a pediatrician or other healthcare provider right away.
More information on MIS-C can be found on the CDC’s website - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children/mis-c.html