Why doctors keep monitoring kids who recover from mysterious COVID-linked illness


An eye on the long-term effects

The medical team at Montefiore is tracking the 40 children they have already treated and discharged. With kids showing few symptoms in the immediate aftermath, Dr. Choueiter hopes the long-term trajectory after MIS-C will be similar to what happens after Kawasaki disease.

“Usually children who have had coronary artery dilations [from Kawasaki disease] that have resolved within the first 6 weeks of the illness do well long-term,” said Dr. Choueiter, who runs the Kawasaki disease program at Montefiore.

The Montefiore team is asking patients affected by MIS-C to return for a checkup 1 week after discharge, then after 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and a year. They will be evaluated by pediatric cardiologists, hematologists, rheumatologists and infectious disease specialists.

Montefiore and other children’s hospitals around the country are sharing information. Dr. Choueiter wants to establish an even longer-term monitoring program for MIS-C, comparable with registries that exist for other diseases.

Ms. Moholland is glad the hospital is being vigilant.

“The uncertainty of not knowing whether it could come back in his future is a little unsettling,” she said. “But I am hopeful.”

This story is part of a partnership that includes WNYC, NPR, and Kaiser Health News. A version of this article originally appeared on Kaiser Health News.


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