28 Minnesota children diagnosed with rare condition linked to COVID-19

Since the pandemic began, Minnesota has had 28 confirmed cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), the rare condition associated with COVID-19, according to Minnesota State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield.

MIS-C is a severe syndrome in children where different body parts, such as the lungs, kidneys and brain, can become inflamed. Symptoms include fever and gastrointestinal illness. A majority of cases also showed signs of heart involvement.

There were five new cases in September and two cases have been reported so far this month. All the children diagnosed with MIS-C either tested positive for COVID-19 or its antibodies or had known exposure with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

In two-thirds of the cases, the children were previously healthy. All of the diagnosed children spent time in the hospital, with more than half requiring intensive care. As of now, none are currently hospitalized for MIS-C and there have been no reported deaths in Minnesota.

Patients' ages have ranged from six months old to 16 years old with an average age of 5.5 years old. Lynfield says Black and Hispanic children have been disproportionately affected in Minnesota, making up 75% of the MIS-C cases.

Lynfield says the illness is rare. There are only 28 confirmed cases statewide out of the more than 20,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the 0 to 19-year-old age group. Nationwide, there have been 1,097 cases of MIS-C and 20 deaths.

Earlier this month, the CDC published findings of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Adults (MIS-A). So far there are only 27 confirmed cases of MIS-A nationwide and two deaths.