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COVID-related childhood disease is on the rise, with greater impact in Central California



FRESNO, CA (KFSN) – A dangerous childhood disease associated with COVID is on the rise and has a greater impact in the Central Valley than in the rest of California.

The Fresno County Health Department and the Valley Children’s Hospital say they see an increasing trend in the number of cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

The first cases of MIS-C in the Central Valley began to appear in the spring of 2020.

“It’s become clear that this is a reality that Valley Children’s Hospital has been dealing with since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Frisno County Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra.

MIS-C affects children of all ages and usually occurs while a child or family member is suffering from COVID or in the weeks after, even if the child has never had symptoms of the virus.

They will develop seemingly unrelated symptoms ̵

1; including fever, abdominal pain, neck pain and low blood pressure – and the symptoms will worsen rapidly as the inflammation spreads to the organs.

“It’s like a cascade of inflammation and it really causes a storm in the body,” said Dr. Resham Patel, a pediatric rheumatologist at the Children’s Hospital in the Valley.

Valley Children’s doctors have treated more than 100 of about 400 known cases in California.

They say it comes in waves, usually after the holidays, when COVID infections spread. So they are watching it now that schools are reopening or returning from spring break.

They say schools following universal camouflage guidelines have shown lower levels of transmission, but children need to remember to keep their attention.

“If you take off your mask to have lunch with a friend or something and share that shared space and you’re close and then the masks aren’t on, that’s where the shows happen,” said Dr. Hailey Nelson, Valley Pediatrician.

Dr. Nelson says parents can also help protect their children by defending themselves.

“Certainly putting this plug on parents as a way to protect their children: If they are vaccinated, parents will not bring the virus home to their children,” she said.

RELATED: California extends the right to participate to people over the age of 16

The CDC says MIS-C has a greater impact in minority communities.

Thirty-six children have died in the United States

Doctors at Valley Children say they have not seen any deaths, but are now sending a warning to see if the condition has long-term effects.

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