Black and Latino children four times more likely than white kids to get rare syndrome linked to coronavirus

‘Our study sheds light on the demographic, clinical and biomarker features of this disease, as well as viral load and viral sequencing,’ says one of study’s authors

Clara Hill
Friday 25 June 2021 14:38 BST
Black and Latino children are more likely to develop rare condition linked to covid
Black and Latino children are more likely to develop rare condition linked to covid (Getty Images)
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Black and Latino children are more likely to be diagnosed with a rare syndrome linked to Covid-19, a new study has revealed.

The research was carried out by the Children’s National Hospital in Washington DC. They looked at a group of children to check if they had contracted Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome.

Black children were the most likely to contract it, according to their findings, as they made up 46 per cent, white children only make up 11 per cent, and 35 per cent of the children were Latino.

The authors have said the information is “critical” for related clinical trials, as according to the CDC, at the beginning of June, 4,000 cases have been recorded, causing 36 deaths.

“Data like this will be critical for the development of clinical trials around the long-term implications of MIS-C,” said Dr Roberta DeBiasi, leader of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the study’s hospital.

The study was published in The Journal of Pediatrics on Friday. They looked at a 124 children whose symptoms were in line with MIS-C. Sixty-three were found to have the condition, 39 of whom had previously tested positive for Covid-19.

It is believed that only 35 per cent of those in the study had preexisting conditions, including diabetes and breathing issues.

Fifty-two per cent of those who developed the syndrome were taken to the ICU. Fifty-five per cent of those admitted were there because of heart problems.

They uncovered that the syndrome presents a few weeks after a child is infected with covid  due to a hyperactive immune system. No conclusion could be made about why children of colour had a higher chance of developing the syndrome.

However, the findings do begin to unearth developments previously unexplored in the risks of coronavirus in children, focusing on MIS-C. Additionally, it provides an insight into the dangers of Covid to children, who are thought to show mild symptoms.

The study implied their condition was brought on by their genetics, rather than the virus, according to the report.

“The fact that there were no notable sequencing differences between our MIS-C and primary COVID cohorts suggests that variations in host genetics and/or immune response are more likely primary determinants of how MIS-C presents itself, rather than virus-specific factors,” Dr DeBiasi continued. “Our study sheds light on the demographic, clinical and biomarker features of this disease, as well as viral load and viral sequencing.”

The study was conducted before the new variants, such as Alpha and Delta, came to light, but they have vowed to study whether they affect the findings.

The study’s findings are in line with coronavirus having a disproportionately negative impact on people of colour. According to data from APM Research Lab, Black Americans had double the death rate of white Americans. Native Americans are believed to also have a higher death rate than white Americans.

The CDC describes MIS-C as a “condition were body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, the lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs”. They list symptoms to look out for, advising calling your doctor if they manifest. These range from a fever, stomach pain, vomiting, rash, bloodshot eyes and additional tiredness.

Emergency care is advised if your child is having difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, among other symptoms.

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