COVID-19 causing rare auto-immune response in children: MIS-C

Coronavirus Updates

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – COVID-19 has primarily impacted adults, but there are real ramifications for a small number of children infected, a disease called MIS-C. Primary Children’s Hospital has treated about 17 children this year with the diagnosis and now physicians are speaking out about the danger. 

MIS-C is an inflammatory and auto-immune disease; it causes a huge number of symptoms and usually manifests in children four to six weeks after they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. The most common symptoms are fever, stomach ache, diarrhea, and a rash.

The illness can impact any number of organs and systems, the most common and concerning is the heart. It’s being compared to Kawasaki Disease and is now being treated in a similar way, with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant drugs. 

One of the young people recently treated for MIS-C is a 12-year-old from Wyoming named Madi Dayton. The young athlete was completely healthy and didn’t even know she’d been exposed to COVID-19, but developed rapid and strange symptoms in late October. 

Dayton said it started with a headache then moved to body-aches and a fever, “I woke up and I couldn’t move at all, I couldn’t move my head from side to side. I was just stuck.”

Her mother Marilyn rushed Madi three hours to Primary Children’s where she stayed for six days in the hospital. 

Madi said, “I remember my mom taking me to the hospital and taking me to a room and then I woke up in the ICU the next morning.”

Marilyn said, “The way it progressed was so fast, that’s what threw me off. I didn’t know that it could have an effect on kids like this. I thought it was just those in those certain categories that were high risk.”

Madi is still receiving treatment and says she’s sad that she’s missing her basketball season, but mom is just happy she’s okay. 

“I know without a doubt that she would not be sitting with me today if it wasn’t for their treatment and intervention and I’m so thankful for that, ” Marilyn said.

Madi’s physicians expect the number of children with MIS-C to rise as our case counts rise in the coming weeks. 

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