According to an analysis by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Tuesday (April 6) most children with a serious inflammatory illness linked to the coronavirus had initial COVID-19 infections with no symptoms or only mild ones, new U.S. research shows. (NIAID-RML via AP, File)

According to an analysis by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Tuesday (April 6) most children with a serious inflammatory illness linked to the coronavirus had initial COVID-19 infections with no symptoms or only mild ones, new U.S. research shows. (NIAID-RML via AP, File)

Most kids with serious inflammatory illness had mild COVID-19

The post-infection condition tends to be milder in kids who were sicker with COVID-19, although more than half received intensive hospital care

Most children with a serious inflammatory illness linked to the coronavirus had initial COVID-19 infections with no symptoms or only mild ones, new U.S. research shows.

The unusual post-infection condition tends to be milder in kids who were sicker with COVID-19, although more than half of affected youngsters received intensive hospital care, according to an analysis by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Tuesday in JAMA Pediatrics.

The study represents the largest analysis to date on U.S. cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and bolsters evidence that it is a delayed immune response to COVID-19. The study included almost 1,800 cases reported to the CDC from March 2020 through mid-January. Most were in kids younger than 15 but the study included up to age 20.

Upticks in cases have occurred two to five weeks after COVID-19 peaks and have followed spread of initial infections from urban to rural areas, the researchers said. More recent CDC data indicate there’s another emerging peak in the pediatric condition consistent with that trend.

State-reported cases through March 29 totalled 3,185 and included 36 deaths, the CDC’s website shows. State reports aren’t always timely so it is uncertain how many U.S. children developed the illness since the study ended.

Most kids who had COVID-19 don’t develop post-infection illness. Almost 3.5 million U.S. children and teens have tested positive for COVID-19, according to data compiled by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

The condition was first reported in Europe in late winter and spring of last year. Some cases, especially those that follow silent, undiagnosed COVID-19 infections, may be mistaken for Kawasaki disease, a rare condition that can cause red skin, swelling and heart problems.

Dr. Sean O’Leary, vice chairman of the pediatrics academy’s infectious diseases committee, said the inflammatory condition typically causes children to become very sick very quickly, but that most ‘’respond very well to treatment and the vast majority get completely better.’’

Treatments may include steroids and other medicines that can reduce inflammation.

The best way to prevent it is to prevent COVID-19 infections, ‘’which vaccines are very good at doing,’’ he said. COVID-19 vaccine studies in children are underway.

In the CDC analysis, fever was among the most common symptoms. Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and red skin rash occurred in at least half of affected kids. Almost one-third had heart inflammation or other cardiac involvement. These symptoms were least common among children up to age 4, who were also less likely to require intensive care than older children.

CoronavirusHealth

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Langley mom irked at irresponsible people getting vaccinated ahead of front-liners

Government decision to vaccinate people in Whistler not sitting well with some

Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley City mayor urges people to stick to health order rules

Stay strong and support local businesses, says van den Broek

A classic Porsche Speedster replica caught fire on a Langley road around 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Darren Carlson/Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Porsche replica car catches fire on Langley road

Township firefighters responded to the incident on Saturday evening

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, is the parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives. (Photo: flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos)
Local agency given more bucks to combat anti-racism

Langley Community Services one of 36 organizations given added funds

Langley Township council passed a tree protection bylaw in 2019, but one resident says the municipality does not do enough to preserve valuable trees. (Black Press Media)
LETTER: Langley Township fails to protect enough trees, writer says

Resident said community should not cut trees then find man-made solutions to mitigate climate impact

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Most Read