Three more children have contracted an inflammatory syndrome believed to be linked to COVID-19, Los Angeles County officials announced.
A total of 31 children have now developed the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, in L.A. County. All have been hospitalized and nearly half have been treated in the intensive care unit, the county said. There have been no reports of deaths among children with the syndrome.
The disease, also known as pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome, or PIMS, can cause inflammation in different parts of the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. Symptoms include fever, pain in the abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes and exhaustion. The syndrome is a rare, but potentially serious or deadly, illness.
Of the 31 cases, 26% have been among children younger than 5; 39% were among children ages 6 to 12; 35% were among children and young adults ages 13 to 20.
Latino children continue to comprise the majority of cases, totaling 71%. Latino residents remain the largest demographic in the county to be affected by the virus.
Officials also reported an additional 47 deaths related to COVID-19 and 1,439 new cases. The number of infections in the county total more than 246,400. More than 20,000 of those cases have been recorded among children 17 or younger, including at least at least eight newborns.
There are currently 992 county residents who are hospitalized for the virus — 30% of whom are in intensive care. The number represents a 50% decrease from the more than 2,000 patients hospitalized in early August following a surge in cases.
L.A. County and California have continued to see a decline in infections, hospitalizations and deaths since a sharp rise that started in mid-June and continued through late August, following Memorial Day weekend and a hurried reopening of the economy.
As another holiday weekend coincides with a new reopening plan — albeit a tamer approach compared to the state’s previous strategy to rapidly reopen various sectors of the economy at once — a new risk of outbreak looms. Health experts and officials hope that residents will remain vigilant and heed lessons learned from the last three months in order to avoid another surge in infection.