(Richmond, Va.) —The Virginia Department of Health has confirmed a death from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. This is the first death from MIS-C reported in Virginia. The child was between 10 and 19 years old and resided in the Prince William Health District. To protect privacy, and out of respect for the family, no other patient information will be disclosed.
MIS-C, previously called Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, is a health condition associated with COVID-19. The first reports of this syndrome came from the United Kingdom in late April 2020. U.S. cases were first reported in New York City in early May of 2020. Virginia has reported 111 cases to date.
“We are devastated by this sad news, and our hearts go out to the family and friends of this child,” said Virginia Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “COVID-19 continues to cause illness, hospitalizations and deaths across Virginia and the U.S. As we enter a time of year when families are traveling and gathering for holidays, we urge all Virginians to take steps to protect themselves and their families. Please get vaccinated if you are eligible. Practice social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing face coverings, as appropriate. COVID-19 vaccinations are free and available to anyone age 5 and older at multiple locations across the Commonwealth.”
Dr. Oliver provided information and guidance on the syndrome to health care providers in Virginia in a May 15, 2020 Clinician Letter which urges all health care providers in Virginia to immediately report any patient who meets the MIS-C criteria to the local health department.
MIS-C may cause problems with a child’s heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs. Most children with MIS-C have ongoing fever, plus more than one of the following: stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, bloodshot eyes, and dizziness or lightheadedness.
Parents should go to the nearest hospital/emergency room for medical care if a child is showing any severe MIS-C warning signs such as trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away; confusion or unusual behavior; severe abdominal pain; inability to wake or stay awake; or pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, depending on skin tone.
The CDC issued a Health Advisory on May 14, 2020 about the syndrome. It is not currently known how common it may be for children to experience these symptoms. For more information on MIS-C visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/mis/.