As of Thursday, about a third of Connecticut residents are now fully vaccinated. But there is still a caveat to the kids who are too young to get an injection.
“The message to families and parents is that we are not out of the woods yet,” says Dr. Juan Salazar, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center chief physician. “Even though we vaccinate a lot of people, children can still get infected.”
Jace Bruno had COVID-19 in March. His mother Kendall Bruno said it went away pretty quickly. A month later, he was diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C.
“He woke up Saturday morning, he had red chapped lips, his tongue was white with red spots on it,” said Kendall.
Then they took him to Yale New Haven Hospital.
“He didn’t have the main symptom to look out for, so that’s why we just want to spread awareness because even if it doesn’t look like the exact symptoms you should be looking for, he had some of the other symptoms,” said they.
He had a fever for several days that his doctor thought was a virus. He had abdominal pain but not a rash commonly seen with MIS-C.
Salazar said 144 children were treated at their hospital for COVID-19 during the pandemic.
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of children who came in diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past three to four weeks,” Salazar said.
The hospital is part of a National Institutes of Health study to determine the causes of MIS-C in children and differentiate it from other diseases. He said the immune system is activated in the weeks after COVID-19 as the body recovers.
“So the immune system is in overdrive and cannot turn itself off,” said Salazar. “And then it starts to damage blood vessels and muscle tissue and skin tissue, brain, heart, lungs.”
He said that about four million children in the United States have been diagnosed with coronavirus. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 3,200 people have been diagnosed with MIS-C, as many as 40 in Connecticut. There have been no deaths in the state, but 36 children in the country have died.
Salazar reminds parents that the cases are rare, but to watch out for after a COVID-19 diagnosis.
“Most of this will not be MIS-C,” said Salazar. “But if you have a question whether your child has had COVID 19 or not, and the child does not look well, rash, fever, red eyes, swollen hands or feet, not doing well, not eating well, please contact us. your pediatrician. “
Salazar noted that the children treated for MIS-C at Connecticut Children’s have recovered. Jace is also recovering at home.
“Friday is Jace and poppa day,” said the 5-year-old who likes to spend the afternoon with his grandfather.
In the month that COVID-19 swept through Bruno’s house, Jace’s father was fully vaccinated.
“There wasn’t really any way to isolate him and in the end he still didn’t get it. No symptoms at all, so it definitely worked, ”said Kendall.
That’s one reason why Salazar encourages teens 16 and older to get vaccinated. That age group can contract not only COVID-19, but also MIS-C.