Wisconsin child dies from rare condition linked to COVID-19

A Wisconsin child died from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, a rare condition associated with COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said it was a child under 10 years old who lived in the southeastern part of the state.

DHS has reported 183 cases of MIS-C in Wisconsin, but this was the first death. The majority of cases happen in 3- to 11-year-olds.

"MIS-C starts anywhere from 2-6 weeks after a child has been exposed," Respiratory Disease Epidemiologist Tom Haupt said. "During that original exposure, they may not have any symptoms. So they might not have any idea that they ever had an exposure to COVID-19."

Haupt said parents shouldn’t be worried, but they should be aware of the symptoms: a lingering fever, trouble breathing, a hard time staying awake, chest pain, and severe abdominal pain. The disease can cause inflammation in the heart, kidneys, and gastrointenstinal system.

"The main sign that we want parents to know is if they have a lingering fever, and the fever-lowering medications, Tylenol, whatever the case may be … are not working," Haupt said.

MIS-C can be treated with blood thinners, low-dose Aspirin, or steroids.

He said Wisconsin’s death was the 60th nationwide out of about 7,100 cases. He did not know yet whether the child had been vaccinated against COVID-19, and he couldn’t speak to any risk factors.

Haupt is expecting more MIS-C cases soon following the January COVID-19 omicron variant surge, but he said he feels comfortable Wisconsin’s hospitals have the resources to respond.