BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) says seven Idaho children diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) between November 2020 and early January 2021 are being added to the overall case total.
One previously reported case is being removed from the count because medical providers found a different cause for the illness. As of January 27, 16 Idaho children have had confirmed MIS-C cases since the pandemic started, according to IDHW.
The new cases were found to have not been included in the state case total, thanks to a collaboration with healthcare providers in the Treasure Valley.
"A review of processes identified multiple causes for the lack of inclusion, including that some reports were made by medical providers near the time of diagnosis, but public health investigations were only recently completed. Processes have since been improved to prevent these delays in the future," stated a news release from IDHW.
IDHW says all diagnosed children needed hospitalization and seven required an overnight stay in the ICU. 10 children were male and the average age was around nine years old, with the youngest being three and the oldest being 16, according to IDHW. No Idaho children have died of MIS-C.
Idaho public health agencies are committed to ensuring they are investigating future reports of possible MIS-C as quickly as possible. Healthcare providers are encouraged to report MIS-C diagnoses to public health as soon as possible.
"MIS-C and other diagnoses for which there is no single confirmatory laboratory test can take longer to investigate," said Dr. Kathryn Turner, Idaho deputy state epidemiologist. "We appreciate help from our medical colleagues to identify and report these cases and their collaboration with local epidemiologists to investigate them, especially given how complicated and serious MIS-C can be."
According to the CDC, MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. The exact cause is unknown, but many children with MIS-C have had the virus that causes COVID-19 or been around someone with the virus.
If your child is showing symptoms of MIS-C, contact their doctor, nurse or clinic immediately.
IDHW says to protect yourself from COVID-19 and children from MIS-C, use the same precautions to prevent the spread:
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth in public and around others who do not live with you
- Continue to keep 6 feet between yourself and others. Avoid close contact with people in your home who are sick, and always put 6 feet of distance between yourself and others who do not live in your household
- Avoid crowds
- Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
- Monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19
Healthcare providers who have cared or are caring for patients younger than 21 years of age with MIS-C symptoms should report suspected cases to their local public health district or the Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention Epidemiology Section at 208-334-5939.