Idaho public health officials work with healthcare providers to identify additional diagnoses of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

DHW Communications

Seven Idaho children diagnosed with MIS-C between November 2020 and early January 2021 are being added to the state’s overall MIS-C case total. In collaboration with healthcare providers serving the Treasure Valley, these cases were found to have not previously been included in the state case total.

A review of processes identified multiple causes for the lack of inclusion, including that some reports were made by medical providers near the time of diagnosis, but public health investigations were only recently completed. Processes have since been improved to prevent these delays in the future.

In addition, one previously reported case is being removed from case counts because medical providers determined an alternative cause for the child’s illness. As of Jan. 27, 2021, the number of children reported to Idaho public health agencies with confirmed MIS-C since the beginning of the pandemic stands at 16.

All diagnosed children required hospitalization, and seven required overnight stay in an intensive care unit. Of the 16 children diagnosed with MIS-C, 10 were male, and the average age of all patients with MIS-C was about 9 years old (youngest: 3 years old, oldest: 16 years old). No Idaho children have died of MIS-C.

Idaho public health agencies are committed to ensuring they are investigating future reports of possible MIS-C as quickly as possible. Healthcare providers are encouraged to report MIS-C diagnoses to public health as soon as possible because “MIS-C and other diagnoses for which there is no single confirmatory laboratory test can take longer to investigate.” said Dr. Kathryn Turner, Idaho deputy state epidemiologist. “We appreciate help from our medical colleagues to identify and report these cases and their collaboration with local epidemiologists to investigate them, especially given how complicated and serious MIS-C can be.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. The exact cause of MIS-C is unknown, however, many children with MIS-C have had the virus that causes COVID-19 or have been around someone with COVID-19.

Contact your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic right away if your child is showing symptoms of MIS-C.

To protect yourself from COVID-19 and children from MIS-C, exercise the same precautions used to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public and around others who do not live in your household. (Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Continue to keep 6 feet between yourself and others. Avoid close contact with people in your home who are sick, and always put 6 feet of distance between yourself and others who do not live in your household.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19.

Healthcare providers who have cared or are caring for patients younger than 21 years of age with symptoms of MIS-C should report suspected cases to their local public health district or to the Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention Epidemiology Section at 208-334-5939. 

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Media contact: 

Niki Forbing-Orr
Public Information Manager
(208) 334-0668