The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is reporting a fourth death related to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. MIS-C is a serious health condition in young people less than 21 years of age where different body organs can become inflamed and fail. These include the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs.

Children with MIS-C may have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes or feeling extra tired. The specific cause of MIS-C is not yet understood, but it is known to occur in some children and teenagers who have contracted COVID-19 or been exposed to another individual with COVID-19.

Louisiana is seeing an increasing number of cases of MIS-C among young people. As of August 10, 2020, the number of confirmed MIS-C cases in Louisiana has risen to 44. To date, infants as young as 1 month and teens up to 19 years of age have received MIS-C diagnoses in Louisiana. MIS-C causes severe illness requiring hospitalization, and the young people diagnosed with MIS-C in Louisiana have been hospitalized an average of 7 days. MIS-C is a mandatory reportable condition in Louisiana and the Department of Health urges clinicians across the state to report immediately any suspected cases to LDH.

Four deaths between ages 2 and 19 have occurred in young people diagnosed with MIS-C in Louisiana. Underlying medical conditions were reported in two of the four deaths. While individuals with underlying health conditions are at higher risk, anyone can be susceptible to severe health consequences associated with COVID-19. All Louisianans need to wear a mask and practice social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19.

LDH recommends parents and caregivers watch for the symptoms of MIS-C in their children. Emergency warning signs of MIS-C include trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure that does not go away, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, and severe abdominal pain. More information about MIS-C can be found here.