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

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Most Read