JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – MIS-C, or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, is a rare but serious condition that is thought to be a delayed reaction to COVID-19. In MIS-C, the immune system of a child who has been infected with COVID-19 attacks the body’s healthy cells, particularly those involving blood vessels, the heart and other organs.
According to the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH), more than 83 children in the state have had MIS-C between the start of the pandemic and mid-August of this year. Five of those children died.
More than 80 children have been hospitalized at Children’s of Mississippi with the condition, requiring the continuing care of multiple subspecialists. This comes as the state is still seeing acute cases of COVID-19 in children.
“What we have now is both MIS-C and severe acute COVID-19, and I think it’s because of schools dropping mask mandates,” said Dr. Charlotte Hobbs, professor of pediatric infectious diseases and director of UMMC’s MIS-C clinic. “We saw this drop of acute COVID-19, and then MIS-C, and now acute COVID-19 is increasing again. Acute COVID and MIS-C at the same time is something that has not happened before, and it is preventable.”
Children with MIS-C are usually hospitalized for several days to a week or more, under the care of a team of subspecialists. Treatment consists of medications to blunt the immune response as well as anticoagulation medications due to the high risk of clotting seen with MIS-C. Because the effects from the condition may last well past hospitalization, it is important for these patients to be seen in follow-up with all the same subspecialists.
Pediatric rheumatologist Dr. Anita Dhanrajani said multiple specialists are coming together to provide the best care to patients.
“This clinic and support are integral for these children and families,” said Dr. Charlotte Hobbs. “Every parent of one of our MIS-C patients in clinic told me how happy and appreciative they were to be able to see every subspecialty in one day.”
Gordon and Hobbs credit the entire Children’s of Mississippi team for the clinic’s smooth operation.