RICHMOND, Va. -- A post-COVID complication impacting children is causing concern for some parents after the first Virginia child died from the condition, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
State health officials have reported 111 total cases of Multi-Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C, across Virginia.
That includes five cases in the Henrico Health District, five in the Chickahominy Health District, six in the Chesterfield Health District, and none in the Richmond City Health District, as of Sunday evening.
A mother in the Tri-Cities was able to spend the Thanksgiving weekend enjoying family time and playing with her kids after they recovered from COVID-19.
She noticed her 4-month-old daughter started with red eyes and allergy symptoms around Halloween time. Shortly after, her son began feeling ill.
“He got a fever and started coughing," she said. "He was shaking in pain.”
The mother, who did not want to be identified, said the whole family, including herself and her husband, tested positive for Coronavirus. Her 2-year-old son experienced the worst symptoms.
“He felt so bad," she said. "You could see it in his face, but there was nothing I could do.”
The whole family is now healthy and well, but the mother has new worries about MIS-C after doing a little bit of reading about it.
It's a rare condition where a child's immune system attacks organs of the body, and it can appear between four to six weeks following a COVID infection.
“They can get really sick really, really fast," the mother said. "Now that I know it’s four to six weeks, I do have concerns.”
The Virginia Department of Health confirmed Friday a child between 10 and 19 years old died from MIS-C, but doctors have said the median age of those affected by the complication is nine.
Medical experts recommend parents look out for these symptoms of MIS-C:
- Stomach pain
- Skin rash
- Blood shot eyes
Parents are also urged to take their child to an emergency room if these severe warning signs show up:
- Trouble breathing
- Inability to stay awake
- Pale or blue skin
“I get up throughout the night and still check to see if [my children are] breathing, so I definitely will be keeping a closer eye on them," the mother said. “It’s hard during the holiday season to keep them away from family, but I mean, I would definitely be more cautious,"
Health experts have said the best way to avoid MIS-C is by protecting little ones from COVID-19.
Virginians age 5+ are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. Pre-registration is no longer required, so go to Vaccine Finder to search for specific vaccines available near you or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-275-8343).
Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?
People are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
How to Protect Yourself and Others When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.
We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions—like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces—in public places until we know more.
These recommendations can help you make decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. They are not intended for healthcare settings.