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7 more Idaho children diagnosed with MIS-C

All of the children diagnosed with the rare complication of COVID-19 have required hospitalization, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
Credit: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Cooper Wuthrich looks on as he wears his mask Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in Montpelier, Idaho. Shortly after Thanksgiving, Wuthrich, 12, became one of hundreds of children in the U.S. diagnosed with a rare COVID-19 complication that landed him in an emergency room three hours away from his tiny hometown in a secluded Idaho valley. The boy's parents say he nearly died and their terrifying experience shows why people should wear masks in a conservative state where pushback can be fierce. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said Thursday that seven more children in Idaho have been diagnosed with a serious inflammatory illness linked to COVID-19.

The children, who were sickened by Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) between November and early January, were not previously added to the state's count. In some of the cases, public health investigations were only recently completed, according to Health and Welfare. 

The new additions bring Idaho's total number of confirmed MIS-C cases to 16 since the beginning of the pandemic. 

MIS-C is a rare complication that causes inflammation in a child's organs, brain, eyes, or skin, and can be fatal. It is unclear why some children develop the syndrome, according to the CDC, but many children who get it have either had COVID-19 or recently been around someone infected with the virus. 

All 16 of the Idaho children diagnosed were hospitalized, and seven of them required at least one overnight stay in an intensive care unit. None have died.

The MIS-C positive children in Idaho range in age from 3 to 16, with an average age of 9. 

Nationwide, more than 1,600 children have developed the serious illness. Twenty-six have died. 

"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."

Health officials say they want to make sure any reports of MIS-C are investigated as quickly as possible, and urge doctors and other healthcare providers to report cases to their local public health district or to the Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention Epidemiology Section at 208-334-5939.  

Idahoans can protect their children and their community by taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19: wearing a mask in public, washing their hands, keeping at least six feet away from non-household members, avoiding large gatherings, and disinfecting surfaces frequently. 

For more information about MIS-C, click here.

At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.

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