Minnesota reports 25 cases of rare syndrome in children associated with COVID-19

Since May, there have been 25 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children or 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. When receiving treatment, 60 percent of Minnesota's cases needed intensive care. In 75 percent of the cases there was evidence the syndrome impacted the heart, with many showing abnormalities during testing.

In 88 percent of the state's cases, the child had tested positive for COVID-19 or antibodies from the coronavirus. The remaining cases had known exposure to COVID-19 within four weeks. However, Dr. Lynfield noted that the 25 MIS-C cases represents a small percentage of the more than 15,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the 0 to 19 years old age group in Minnesota.

"Although this is a rare condition, we do want parents to be informed and to seek medical care for their children if they have fever and GI symptoms, some other signs are rash or red eyes and excessive fatigue," said Lynfield.

Lynfield says it's especially important for parents to look for these signs if their child has tested positive for COVID-19 or come into contact with a confirmed case.

The state saw a monthly high of MIS-C cases in June with 11 cases. So far in September, there have only been two confirmed MIS-C cases in Minnesota.

Patients' ages have ranged from six months old to 16 years old with a median age of four years old. Lynfield says Black and Hispanic children have been disproportionately affected in Minnesota, making up 76 percent of the MIS-C cases.

Lynfield says the majority of the impacted children were previously healthy before contracting the syndrome.

Currently, none of the affected children are still in the hospital and there have been no deaths linked to MIS-C in Minnesota. Nationwide, there have been 935 cases and 19 deaths, according to the CDC.