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Brief # 96 Health and Gender Policy

MIS-C: What is it, and Why it Matters

By Justin Lee

February 24, 2021 

Policy

There are multiple reports of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (in children, MIS-C) being seen across the world shortly after the onset of COVID-19. Children and teen patients with MIS-C can suffer from inflammation that can limit blood flow throughout the body, exposing danger to major organs such as the heart, kidneys, and other organs. While cases, which have ranged from ages 2 to 15 years, have been considered rare the outcome can be dangerous if left untreated. MIC-C can be treated with drugs that can control the inflammation and prevent prolonged, permanent organ damage.

These onsets and continued uncertainty affect President Biden as he continues to gear America for reopening and reestablishing a sense of normalcy. Should high-contact environments, like schools or entertainment venues, be reopened considering the spread of MIS-C?

 

Analysis

Before this question is addressed, it is important to outline that most children who are infected with COVID-19 have mild illness. It is rare that pediatric patients with COVID develop MIS-C, and most these cases are treated with early medical care. Current studies do link children with MIS-C with COVID-19 antibodies, but it is unclear which variant these children were infected with. More studies with analysis are needed to confirm whether or not certain variants expose pediatric patients more to MIS-C than other variants.

MIS-C joins a number of obstacles that fuel uncertainty of determining how much longer the pandemic will go on. In combination of different variants and the still trickling vaccine distribution, America reopening to a sense of normalcy seems distant. And that is correct. Protocols for face coverings, routine testing, and social distancing will not go away this year. Viruses have and will continue to mutate, and President Biden should focus on deciding factors for reopening; factors like COVID-19 hospitalization rates, new infection rates, and percentage of vaccinated or antibody-positive Americans. These factors should be considered when taking steps to reopen for all high contact environments like schools and restaurants.

As of mid-February, only 11.5% of American shave been vaccinated. However, with vaccines beginning to be distributed in nationwide pharmacies along with the likely Emergency Use Authorization approval for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine should help boost vaccination and COVID protection efforts worldwide. There will continue to be new obstacles to rid the pandemic, but America has to be hopeful that hope and progress for normalcy is clearly visible and welcome news.

Learn More

Helpful links

Mayo Clnic: MIS

Hopkins Med: MIS

CDC: MIS

US News: Biden and School Reopenings

USA Today: Vaccine Tracker

Engagement Resources

Trust for America’s Health is a public health policy and research organization that advocates for a nation that values the health and well-being of Americans. Their organization has valuable information regarding health policies and issues on a federal and state level, and also actively publishes reports regarding public health on their website. To find more information or to get involved, use the link below:

TFAH Website

The American Public Health Association is an organization aimed to Improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status. As the main publishers for the American Journal of Public Health and The Nation’s Health newspapers, APHA educates the public on public health, policy statements, and advocacy for public health. To volunteer or become a member, use the link below:

APHA Website

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