CORONAVIRUS

No reports of rare condition affecting children in Iowa

Pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome has been reported in 19 states and D.C.

Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, speaks May 5 during a COVID-19 briefing at the
Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, speaks May 5 during a COVID-19 briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston. She said Friday health officials have not seen any cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome in Iowa children. (Olivia Sun/Des Moines Register)

JOHNSTON — Parents breathed a sigh of relief Friday when state officials said they have not received any reports of Iowa children diagnosed with a rare but potentially deadly condition linked to COVID-19.

Cases of the pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome have been reported in at least 19 states, including Illinois and Missouri, and Washington, D.C.

At least three youth 18 and younger have died from MIS-C, which causes prolonged fever, skin rash, stomach pain and swollen lymph nodes in the neck similar to what doctors identify as Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.

The illness prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a health alert to physicians this week after doctors expressed concerns the mysterious condition may be linked to the novel coronavirus, which is more of a threat to older people or those with underlying serious medical conditions.

“We are not aware at this particular point in time of any cases of the inflammatory condition in children,” Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, said Friday during Gov. Kim Reynolds’ daily COVID-19 news briefing at the state’s emergency operations center.

She said Dr. Caitlin Pedati, state medical director and epidemiologist, routinely confers with CDC officials and other state epidemiologists.

“We’re keeping a close eye on the situation, and certainly if we learn more we’ll be sure to share that,” Reisetter added.

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According to the latest Iowa COVID-19 health agency data, about 2 percent of the 14,049 positive coronavirus cases in Iowa involve children younger than 18, with the same percentage among the 6,561 who have recovered from the virus.

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