On Friday Los Angeles County health officials reported nine more cases of the pediatric ailment known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, or MIS-C. The new cases lifted the total number of children in L.A. diagnosed with the rare but serious condition to 25.
There have been no deaths reported in the county due to the condition, which affects children who either had COVID-19 or have been exposed to it. The ailment causes inflammation of body parts including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, eyes or gastrointestinal organs, sometimes resulting in lifelong health affects.
Health officials are still trying to learn what causes the syndrome and how best to treat it.
Some data points from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control:
-Most cases are in children between the ages of 1 and 14 years, with an average age of 8 years.
-Cases have occurred in children from 1 year old to 20 years old.
-More than 70 percent of reported cases have occurred in children who are Hispanic/Latino or Non-Hispanic Black.
-99 percent of cases tested positive for SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The remaining 1 percent were around someone with COVID-19.
-Most children developed MIS-C 2-4 weeks after infection with SARS-CoV-2.
-Slightly more than half of reported cases were male.
In L.A., 28 percent of the cases were between the ages of 0 and 5 years old, 44 percent were between the ages of 6 and 12 years old, and 28 percent were between the ages of 13 and 20 years old. The majority of cases — 68 percent — were Latino/Latinx.
Nationally, the CDC has received reports of 694 confirmed cases of MIS-C and 11 deaths in 42 states.
MIS-C is described by the CDC as occurring in people under 21 years of age who present with “fever, laboratory evidence of inflammation and evidence of clinically severe illness requiring hospitalization, with multisystem organ involvement (cardiac, renal, respiratory, hematologic, gastrointestinal, dermatologic or neurological).”
Patients must be positive for current or recent SARS-CoV-2 infection by RT-PCR, serology, or antigen test; or COVID-19 exposure within the 4 weeks prior to the onset of symptoms.
There must also be no other plausible diagnoses.
The news of the MIS-C infections comes are children start back to school and one day after Southern California saw its first pediatric death related to COVID-19. On Thursday, a teenage girl with significant underlying medical conditions died in Orange County.
Since the start of the pandemic, three people 18 to 24 years old have died of coronavirus complications in Orange County, but this was the first death of a person under 18. While its total deaths from the virus is much greater, Los Angeles County has not seen any deaths of people under the age of 18, but health officials say children between 0 and 4 years old now have the second-highest case rate per 100,000 people of any age cohort, at just over 20.
She becomes the second person under the age of 18 to die from the virus in the state.
The first was a teen boy from the Central Valley in late July.
L.A. public health officials confirmed 46 new deaths and 1,759 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Of the new cases reported by the Public Health Department, 72 percent occurred in people under the age of 50 years old.
To date, Los Angeles has identified 229,054 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of the County. The region has experienced a total of 5,491 COVID-related deaths. Testing results are available for nearly 2,154,000 individuals with 10 perdent of all people testing positive.