WISCONSIN — A child has died from MIS-C in Wisconsin, a rare but serious condition related to COVID-19.
According to the Department of Health Services, the child was under 10-years-old and lived in southeast Wisconsin.
While there have been 183 cases of the condition in the state, this is the first death. 33 of the cases were reported since January 1, 2022.
“We are saddened to report that a child has passed away from MIS-C,” said State Health Officer Paula Tran. “Although COVID-19 cases are declining throughout the state, we are still seeing very high levels of disease transmission in all 72 counties.
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DHS said MIS-C causes parts of the body to become inflamed and can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and other organs. Most cases occur in kids between 3 and 12-years-old who have been exposed to COVID-19.
Emergency warning symptoms of the disease include lingering fever, trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure that does not go away, confusion, inability to wake up or stay awake, bluish lips or face, or severe abdominal pain. MIS-C can start to show up 2 to 6 weeks after a COVID exposure.
Tom Haupt, a respiratory disease epidemiologist with DHS, said the pediatric population includes anyone under the age of 20 and that a majority of the cases are in kids 3 -11 years old. Haupt added that about 60% of the state's cases needed to be admitted into the pediatric intensive care unit, and MIS-C is becoming more prominent in Black and Hispanic children.
"Now what are their risk factors? That's what we're really trying to figure out and that's why we are prioritizing getting reports in as quickly as possible," Haupt said.
While MIS-C is rare, Haupt expects to see this condition more given the omicron surge.
Haupt stressed preventing COVID exposures with vaccination is the best way to prevent MIS-C. For kids under the age of five and ineligible for COVID vaccines, DHS said their family and friends should get their shots.
DHS noted that several children were diagnosed with MIS-C despite being fully vaccinated.
DHS said it is prioritizing investigations into suspected MIS-C cases and sharing information with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You can learn more about MIS-C from the CDC here.