Louisiana health officials on Monday reported a fourth death from a rare, coronavirus-related inflammatory condition. The deaths were among Louisiana youth aged 2 to 19, with underlying medical conditions reported in two of the four deaths.
While younger populations tend to fare better with coronavirus infections, some pediatric patients develop Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C. The serious health condition occurs in people younger than 21, and involves potentially fatal inflammation of multiple organs, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin and eyes.
These patients may have a fever and other symptoms including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain and rash, according to a statement from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).
The specific cause of MIS-C is not yet understood, but it is known to occur in youth infected with, or exposed to, COVID-19, according to officials.
Health officials said the state is seeing an increasing number of MIS-C cases. By Monday, the total number of confirmed MIS-C cases had risen to 44 in Louisiana. Infants just one-month-old, to teens aged up to 19, have been diagnosed with the condition in the state.
On average, these patients were hospitalized for seven days.
The LHD said it is mandatory to report MIS-C and urged clinicians statewide to immediately report any suspected cases to the health department.
Health officials advised parents to watch for signs of MIS-C in their children. Emergency warning signs include trouble breathing, chest pain or persistent pressure, confusion, inability to wake, bluish lips or face and severe abdominal pain.