At least two youths in Colorado have died after developing a rare coronavirus-linked inflammatory condition known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), health officials in the state said this week.
A total of seven children in the state have developed the syndrome, a spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) confirmed to Fox News on Friday. The cases have also been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
No other details on two deaths were revealed, including the children's ages, with health officials citing privacy concerns.
“To protect family privacy, we cannot share any other details at this time,” CDPHE said in a statement to Fox News.
MIS-C is an inflammatory condition that is similar to Kawasaki disease, which causes swelling in arteries throughout the body. However, the two conditions are not the same, and MIS-C has largely been reported in children who have been infected with or exposed to COVID-19.
MIS-C typically causes inflammation in the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. MIS-C can also cause persistent fever, rashes, vomiting, and diarrhea, among other symptoms, such as a red tongue and eyes.
“We still think this is a relatively rare disease,” Dr. Sam Dominguez, an infectious disease specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, told The Colorado Sun. “We still are in a learning phase about what this syndrome really is.”
A recent study found that MIS-C is indeed a new condition, with researchers in a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association identifying the main symptoms and clinical markers.
A recent study funded by the CDC also reaffirmed reports of MIS-C and its relation to COVID-19.
Researchers involved in the study surveilled pediatric health centers across the U.S. from March 15 to May 20. Of 186 MIS-C patients in 26 states, researchers found that 73 percent had been previously healthy, and 70 percent tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes a COVID-19 infection. The median age was 8.3 years, and patients were hospitalized for about a week.
Most patients had a fever lasting four or more days. For a small number of patients, 25 days had passed between the onset of COVID-19 symptoms and hospitalization for MIS-C.
“These findings suggest that a substantial proportion of the patients in this series were infected with SARS-CoV-2 at least 1 to 2 weeks before the onset of MIS-C,” the study’s authors wrote.
Fox News’s Kayla Rivas contributed to this report.