GlobalData: Further research into MIS-C could reveal how COVID-19 affects the immune system

Some children have developed a severe inflammatory response due to COVID-19 infection that appears similar to Kawasaki disease. Doctors are referring to this response as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Although severe COVID-19 illness is less frequent in children, with about 3% of confirmed cases in the US in ages 0–17 years, it is still significant. Further research into MIS-C could provide insights on how COVID-19 affects the immune system and how it can be treated, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

As our understanding of COVID-19 grows, and as patients continue to recover, more additional long-term complications and rare effects on various demographics could emerge. As a result, it will be a while before we gain a full understanding of the medical impacts of this disease. This pediatric syndrome has been tied to the COVID-19 because most cases either tested positive at the time their symptoms developed or had a positive antibody test. While this new syndrome has similarities to Kawasaki disease, an observational study from Italy and a review of cases in New York City, US has highlighted differences between the two diseases.”

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSHTM, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

Kawasaki disease can have long-term cardiovascular complications. Future longitudinal studies will have to be conducted to determine if MIS-C patients will have similar issues.

To date, there have been 157 suspected cases of pediatric MIS-C reported in New York State, and approximately 230 combined suspected cases in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland, among others.

Even though a small proportion of confirmed cases of COVID-19 occur in the population under the age of 18 years and pediatric MIS-C appears to be a rare complication, studies such as the one carried out in Italy can provide valuable insight. Observational studies can shed light on the immune response that COVID-19 triggers in children and promote data collection efforts, which can lead to a better understanding of how the virus works and possible treatment options.”

Ana Fernandez Menjivar



  1. megan jackson megan jackson United States says:

    Do you think the BCG vaccine might help the immune system in preventing MIS-C?  Note that the countries that MIS-C occurs in are those that do not administer the BCG vaccine.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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