West Virginia confirms first case of COVID-19 related illness in children

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CHARLESTON (WOWK) – West Virginia state health officials announced Thursday the first confirmed case of an illness in children related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHR) says the child has been diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children or MIS-C.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes MIS-C has a condition where different parts of the body become inflamed including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

In children, MIS-C may show a fever and other symptoms including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes or feeling extra tired.

The CDC says many children with MIS-C either have had the COVID-19 virus or were exposed to someone who had it.

“This development is an unfortunate reminder that COVID-19 does not just affect the elderly,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad the West Virginia Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health.

“We must continue to be diligent in our efforts to protect each other by social distancing, wearing masks in public and following all recommendations of local, state and federal health experts,” she added.

The illness first began to appear in April in England when a cluster of eight children came into clinics within ten days of each other showing the same symptoms. They ranged in age from four to 14. The CDC issued its first warning to physicians to be on the alert for MIS-C earlier this month.

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