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CDC taps Phoenix Children's in search to learn more about MIS-C

Phoenix's Children's Behavioral Health Center in East Valley
Posted at 6:29 AM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 09:29:06-04

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working to learn more about Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).

The agency is asking 4 hospitals, including Phoenix Children's, to help them find answers.

ABC15 Health Insider Dr. Wassim Ballan is no stranger to MIS-C. He is an infectious disease doctor at Phoenix Children's and is now on a team of medical experts selected by the CDC to investigate this rare but serious, pediatric health condition that affects children, weeks after a COVID-19 infection or exposure.

"So with Phoenix Children's, we're actually one of four hospital systems that are doing a study with the CDC to learn more about this reaction. Keep in mind this is a reaction that we started seeing in April and May of last year, initially in the UK and then in the US. So this is a relatively new disease."

The long-term effects of MIS-C are still unclear. The CDC says learning more about who is likely to be diagnosed with MIS-C and how often it happens is crucial in the effort to help offer guidance for all healthcare providers and parents.

Dr. Ballan also says, "We've built up more information and more knowledge about how to manage this reaction but we definitely we need to continue to do more studies on that reaction to see what is the best way to recognize this disease and how to manage it".

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 116 cases have been confirmed in Arizona. Three people in Arizona have died as a result.

Dr. Ballan says, "What we know so far, and this is something that you know all the studies so far are showing us and including our experience here at Phoenix Children's is that those patients usually are coming in with fever. More than 90% of them have abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. So any kind of GI illness. So that specific symptom seems to be the most common after the infection."

A rash, difficulty breathing, headache, lip and tounge swelling, and eye irritation are warning signs for parents to watch for up to five weeks after a child is either exposed to coronavirus or is recovering.

According to the CDC, 36 people have died from complications associated with MIS-C.