Gov. Ron DeSantis late last week called a childhood illness that has been tied to COVID-19 “extremely rare,” despite reports of at least eight confirmed cases in our state.
He added that parents can decide whether they believe their children are at risk.
“I think it’s something parents should consider. It is extremely rare,” DeSantis said Friday of the illness known as “multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children,” or MIS-C.
DeSantis made the comments during a news conference in which he announced that coronavirus-related restrictions on youth activities have been lifted for the summer. However, he deferred questions about MIS-C to Bonnie White, a pediatrician who appeared at the news conference.
“It’s my understanding that we haven’t seen any cases, that Wolfson (Children’s Hospital) is monitoring seven kids for symptoms of it, but as of yesterday they haven’t had any cases,” White said.
Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome – PMIS. 300+ cases across 27 states 🚨🚨🚨
“PMIS is "more frightening" than COVID-19 because it can cause inflammation of the heart's blood vessels, leading to what is essentially a heart attack in a child”https://t.co/sdUrZCoVCV
— Daniel E. Choi, MD (@drdanchoi) May 22, 2020
However, Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville confirmed on Thursday that it had two patients with cases of MIS-C.
Additionally, 12 patients in the Jacksonville area who have been treated at Wolfson since mid-April who are now suspected to have had the illness.
South Florida has had another six cases, with five patients still hospitalized. One patient who was being treated at Holtz Children’s Hospital in Miami was discharged last Friday.
MIS-C is most common among school-age children. Patients who meet the definition of the syndrome must be under 21 and have a fever, laboratory evidence of inflammation, have a clinically severe illness requiring hospitalization and must test positive for a novel coronavirus infection, or have been exposed to it within the four weeks ahead of the symptoms’ onset.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published information on May 15 on its website, after the illness emerged in New York. As of Friday, New York health officials said they were investigating 161 reported MIS-C cases in their state. There have also been three deaths.