Friday, October 16th, 2020
Illness COVID related
Local child has rare syndrome
By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A boy under 6 years old has Mercer County's first reported hospitalized case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a rare but serious condition associated with the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a county health district news release on Thursday.
Mercer County also saw an additional 22 cases on Thursday, raising the county's total to 1,277.
The Auglaize County Health Department did not report any information by press time.
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, causes different body parts, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs, to become inflamed.
The cause of MIS-C is unknown, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has observed that many children with the illness had the virus that causes COVID-19 or had been around someone with the virus.
MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed have gotten better with medical care, according to the release. Symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes and fatigue.
Mercer County Health District Administrator Jason Menchhofer said the boy, has been hospitalized since Oct. 7. He was exposed to a family member with COVID-19 around Labor Day. He had a fever and runny nose for roughly 24 hours around the same time and was presumed to have had COVID-19, according to the release.
About four weeks later, he developed a high fever that was difficult to control with over-the-counter medication. During the next two days he began to develop eye redness; a blotchy red rash; redness, swelling and cracking of his lips; redness of the palms of his hands; excessive irritability; and refusal to eat or drink, according to the release. He had no known underlying medical conditions.
Menchhofer said although the boy is still hospitalized, his condition has improved.
A CDC-led study earlier this year found the median time from COVID-19 symptom onset to MIS-C symptom onset to be 25 days, the release stated.
Since May, 1,027 cases of MIS-C have been reported in the U.S. and fewer than 20 cases in Ohio. The CDC is still learning about MIS-C and how it affects children, so why some children get the condition while others do not is unknown.
Officials also don't know if children with certain health conditions are more likely to get MIS-C. However, all CDC recommendations are based on the best data and science available at the time and will be updated as officials learn more, according to the release.
Since symptoms of MIS-C vary, Menchhofer said parents are better to be safe than sorry and advised seeing a family doctor or physician if symptoms occur.
"If you happen to have a situation where your kid is showing weird symptoms, try taking them to see a doctor," Menchhofer said.
Health officials in the release also noted that Mercer County has remained elevated at Level 3 on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System for 11 consecutive weeks.
The county has experienced increasing numbers of new COVID-19 cases, according to the release, and is considered to have a high incidence rate.
Mercer County has a rate of 313.13 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks, ranking fourth in the state for counties ranked by highest incidence.
In addition, officials declared a new outbreak at Fort Recovery Local Schools District.
Menchhofer said three new cases at the high school and four new cases at the elementary and middle school were reported this week. Officials declared an outbreak at the district rather than a specific school since both buildings have multiple cases.
Health officials also reported 135 probable cases, 1,140 people who have recovered, 75 pending tests, 3,941 negative test results, five hospitalizations, 25 deaths and two probable deaths from COVID-19, according to the release. Of the 1,277 cases, 107 are active.
Cases have been reported in all areas of the county since the beginning of the pandemic. Since March, Celina has had 541 cases; Coldwater, 214; St. Henry, 191; Fort Recovery, 148; Maria Stein, 79; Rockford, 47; Mendon, 19; Chickasaw, 18; Burkettsville, 10; Montezuma, three; and Willshire, one, according to the district's online COVID-19 dashboard at https://arcg.is/1mTqa5.
As of Thursday evening, the Ohio Department of Health reported 175,843 confirmed and probable cases, 16,824 hospitalizations and 5,038 confirmed and probable deaths from COVID-19.