Doctors at Children’s National Hospital in D.C. are seeing surges of children diagnosed with COVID-19.
There’s been an uptick in acute, recent COVID-19 infections. At the same time, more children are being diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a condition where the immune system has an exaggerated and harmful response to the virus.
The syndrome is rare but can develop weeks after coronavirus symptoms clear up and affect major organs, potentially leading to heart failure or even death.
“We’re seeing the MISC-C bump from Thanksgiving,” Dr. Bernhard Wiedermann said. “Some of them are very, very sick with life-threatening illness.”
The expects the hospital to be treating the surge for the next few weeks.
It’s rare for children to have any serious coronavirus symptoms, but about 2.5 million kids nationwide have tested positive for the illness.
Wiedermann points to vaccines as a future turning point in the pandemic, although no one knows when a vaccine will become available to children.
Clinical trials are now underway to see how children 12 and up react to coronavirus vaccines, but data for children 11 and younger may not be available more than a year.
Younger children appear less likely to spread the virus, leading Dr. Wiedermann to say reopening schools with precautionary measures could be done safely in the D.C. region.
Wearing a mask, staying six feet apart, avoiding indoor crowds and frequent hand washing are still the best ways to keep your family safe from COVID-19, Wiedermann said.