Frightening, but rare: COVID-19 complication seen in children

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Doctors in Ohio’s children’s hospitals are dealing with a number of respiratory illnesses.

In addition to the flu and RSV, there’s the COVID-19 complication MIS-C. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome can occur after a COVID-19 infection and mostly affects school-age children. Dr. Adam Mezoff, chief medical officer at Dayton Children’s Hospital, said it’s a serious and frightening, but rare condition.

“As we get further into this surge of COVID, we’re seeing the long-time complications that COVID can bring to children,” Mezoff said.

“What happens is, children come into the hospital with various initial complaints and often get very sick. Their blood pressure drops, they end up in our intensive care unit, they often need a lot of medication and other things to survive. Often they need their hearts checked for weeks, sometimes months after,” Mezoff said.

Mezoff stressed children do get seriously ill from COVID-19, though not in the same numbers as adults.

“Towards the end of the summer, beginning of the fall, we might have two or three patients in our hospital with COVID. Now we have anywhere from 10 to 15. We didn’t use to have many in the ICU on a regular basis. Today, we have one in the ICU who’s on a breathing machine.”

Mezoff joined Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff on Thursday to describe the conditions at his hospital and other children’s hospitals in Ohio, where he said administrators are making decisions on whether they can accept patients from outside their area.

“Our beds are literally full on a regular basis,” Mezoff said. “We have very dedicated caregivers who are burning the candle on both ends.”

Mezoff added that masking in schools significantly reduces COVID-19 among children. In the last several weeks, he’s seen incidents of COVID-19 down 67 percent in districts with mandatory masks, while schools without experienced a 30 percent increase.

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