CHLA reports first death of child from COVID-related syndrome

Children's Hospital Los Angeles confirmed Wednesday what is believed to be the first death of a child in the county and the state due to complications of a pediatric inflammatory syndrome that has been linked to COVID-19.  

"Children's Hospital Los Angeles has treated 32 patients with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C," according to a statement from the hospital. "The patients range in age from 4 months to 17years. Thirty-one patients have been successfully treated and discharged. One patient with a complex pre-existing cardiac condition passed away due to complications tied to MIS-C."

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Further details about the child who died were not released.  

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about two dozen children across the country have died from the syndrome, among nearly 1,300 reported cases. In late October, Los Angeles County health officials reported a total of 43 known cases locally.  

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The syndrome has been linked to the coronavirus, with the CDC noting that children and adolescents contract it  "after a COVID-19 illness or contact with someone with COVID-19."  It is still unclear what causes some children to develop the syndrome, while others who have had coronavirus illness or contacts do not.  

According to the CDC, the average age of MIS-C patients is 8, but cases have involved patients as old as 20. More than 75% of the cases nationally have been Latino or Black children. Of the infected children, 99% had tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, while the other 1% had contact with a COVID patient.  

MIS-C can result in inflammation of body parts including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, and gastrointestinal organs, potentially having life-long health impacts.  

"With COVID-19 numbers at critical levels, it's crucial that families exercise caution and remain vigilant," according to CHLA, "If parents think that their child has MIS-C, it's important that they contact their child's doctor or pediatrician immediately."