As a mother of five children, 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, I am saddened when children are sick or in danger. As doctors and scientists learn more about the transmission and effects of COVID-19, I am troubled in my spirit to learn that even healthy children are vulnerable to contracting the virus and are at risk of a condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that MIS-C “is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs." We do not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, we know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. While MIS-C can be deadly, the CDC offers some reassurance by stating that “most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.”

There is much to be learned about MIS-C and how it affects children. For instance, it is not yet understood why some children get sick with MIS-C and others don’t, or even if children with certain health conditions are more likely to get MIS-C.

So what can a parent or caregiver do? The CDC offers this direction:

Contact your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic right away if your child is showing symptoms of MIS-C, including fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes or feeling extra tired.

Be aware that not all children will have the same symptoms. Seek emergency care right away if your child is showing any of these emergency warning signs of MIS-C or other concerning signs:

• Trouble breathing

• Pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away

• New confusion

• Inability to wake or stay awake

• Bluish lips or face

• Severe abdominal pain

The best advice that the CDC offers to protect your child is by taking everyday actions to prevent your child and the entire household from getting the virus that causes COVID-19.

May God bless all of you and keep our children safe. Please take this virus seriously and be diligent in protecting yourself, your family and the people who are around you.

Doris T. Alexander

Councilwoman, District 4

City of Baker