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Everyday Health: Black Children May Be More Vulnerable to COVID-19 Inflammatory Syndrome

Everyday Health recently interviewed Moshe Arditi, MD, professor of Pediatrics and director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Division at Cedars-Sinai, about increasing evidence that Black children may be more vulnerable to a serious inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19.

Physicians have seen a growing number of children suffering from multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a condition that affects blood vessels and organs, and which closely resembles Kawasaki disease. Many of these children have shown signs of a recent COVID-19 illness, according to the article.

A recent study covered by Everyday Health found that more than half of children suffering from multisystem inflammatory syndrome are of African ancestry. Many of these patients developed rashes, conjunctivitis and myocarditis, a condition caused by inflammation of the heart muscle that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood and can cause a rapid or abnormal heartbeat. All of these symptoms are often seen in children who have Kawasaki disease.

However, a growing body of research has shown that multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) is a distinct and different illness from Kawasaki disease, Arditi explained in the article.

“It’s possible that MIS-C may develop in the wake of infection, triggered by the immune system’s battle with COVID-19,” Arditi told Everyday Health. “It’s also possible that the novel coronavirus may cause delayed hyper-inflammation, or that MIS-C is the way the body responds to repeat exposure to the virus.”

He noted that the clinical features of multisystem inflammatory syndrome are not the same as what’s typically seen with Kawasaki disease: severe gastrointestinal symptoms, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and acute kidney injury.

“There are no data at all to suggest that children with autoimmune disorders or kids who have had regular Kawasaki disease in the past are at increased risk of developing MIS-C following COVID-19 infection,” Arditi said.

Click here to read the complete story from Everyday Health.