In Week 10 (May 22 to May 24) of Sermo’s COVID-19 Real Time Barometer, an ongoing opinion survey of thousands of physicians worldwide, respondents shared experiences treating multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). According to the Barometer, in the past three months, 12% of physicians (N = 4,154) saw at least one child age 12 and under with suspected MIS-C, and among those doctors (N = 506), nearly half (49%) saw young patients with possible MIS-C in just the past week. Complete data published to date and study methodology can be found here.
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(Graphic by Sermo)
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with MIS-C, different body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs, can become inflamed. Although the cause is unknown, it is believed many children with MIS-C had coronavirus or had been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Suspected cases of MIS-C should be referred immediately to a tertiary care center.
“Our survey shows physicians in the United Kingdom, China, Germany, and other parts of the world have been seeing a higher frequency of MIS-C than we have in the U.S.,” said Peter Kirk, CEO of Sermo.
Based on experiences in other countries, it’s possible there could be a surge among American children, particularly as activities reopen and families return to socializing.
Recently the CDC provided the following diagnostic criteria for MIS-C: fever of at least 100.4 degrees for at least 24 hours; confirmed evidence of inflammation; need for hospitalization; problems with at least two organs (i.e., lungs, heart or kidneys); and no alternative plausible diagnoses. The patient also must test positive for the coronavirus or its antibodies, or have been exposed to COVID-19 within the last four weeks. Other reported symptoms include vomiting, upset stomach, red eyes, diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes and a rash.
Most children diagnosed with the condition have improved with medical care; however, according to the survey, doctors are using a wide range of treatments to manage MIS-C, with no one particular approach being substantially more common. Also, few are utilizing common treatments for adult COVID-19 patients, such as Remdesivir and plasma.
MIS-C can be serious, even deadly. Sermo found 41% of physicians who had seen young MIS-C patients reported they progressed to life threatening symptoms. Furthermore, 29% of these same physicians have seen young patients die.
Physicians are noting the condition with higher frequency in certain U.S. cities, and state health departments are slowly documenting an increase in MIS-C cases.
Children should continue wearing masks, practice social distancing, and interact with peers outside, whenever possible, and parents should be on the lookout for signs of infection, such as fever, inflammation and exposure to people who have COVID-19.
About the Real Time Barometer
The Real Time Barometer is an observational study of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak as reported by physicians with firsthand experience of treating COVID-19 patients. Each week, thousands of physicians provide insights on topics regarding the global health crisis. To date, 51,300 interviews with doctors in 31 countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Russia, China, Japan and Australia, have participated in the Barometer.
Sermo is the largest healthcare data collection company and social platform for physicians, reaching 1.3MM healthcare professionals across 150 countries. The platform enables doctors to anonymously talk real-world medicine, review treatment options via our proprietary Drug Ratings platform, collectively solve patient cases, and participate in medical market research. For more information, visit sermo.com.