Indiana health leaders monitoring rare disease linked to kids who get COVID-19


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Indiana health officials are keeping a close eye on a rare inflammatory disease affecting some children who also test positive for COVID-19.

As of Friday, 89 Hoosiers 20 and younger have developed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. Possible symptoms include a rash and inflammation of key organs, including the heart, lungs and kidneys.

Indiana Health Commissioner Kristina Box announced Wednesday the department would begin publishing data on the number of these cases. According to Indiana’s COVID-19 dashboard, about two thirds of patients who have developed MIS-C are male. The average age for these confirmed cases is just under 10 years.

None of the cases in Indiana were fatal, according to Dr. Box.

Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter is also watching out for this rare disease in northeast Indiana. He shares he has personally seen a case involving a child who developed MIS-C shortly after testing positive for COVID-19.

“They can be very serious,” Dr. Sutter said. “In fact, there’s been fatalities, and they’re directly caused by COVID-19 infection.”

While these cases remain rare in Indiana, health officials urge patients to mitigate their child’s risk of this disease by getting them vaccinated once they are eligible.

“We believe the vaccine will be protective for this, although it’s new enough that the vaccine has been approved and it’s uncommon enough that we don’t have great data on that,” Dr. Sutter said.

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