MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin child has died of a rare condition linked to COVID-19.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday the child is the first in the state to die of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome.
State health officials said the child died sometime within the last month. The child was under 10 years old and was from southeastern Wisconsin. Health officials declined to provide any further identifying details.
Tom Haupt, a state respiratory disease epidemiologist, says the child was one of 183 Wisconsin children who have contracted the disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recorded 6,851 cases as of Jan. 31.
The syndrome appears two to six weeks after a child has been exposed to COVID-19. Symptoms include a lingering fever, chest pain and abdominal pain similar to appendicitis and a failure to stay awake. Greg Demuri, a pediatric infectious disease doctor with UW Health in Madison, said the disease can damage blood vessels and cause heart attacks. Doctors believe it affects Black and Hispanic children disproportionately.
“The (children are) all universally very sick. They have fever, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhea,” he said. “The most significant component is a weakening of the heart muscle. We’ve had to put a few children on heart medications.”