US counts 342 child inflammatory syndrome cases

An official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the most recent count shows 342 U.S. children and teens have developed a serious inflammatory condition linked to COVID-19 infections.

Dr. Ermias Belay presented the data Thursday during a CDC online call for physicians. Belay says that among U.S cases reported as of July 15, the average age was 8 and most were in children aged 1 to 14.

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That figures show that 40% of cases were in Latino kids and 35% were in Black children. One in four affected children were put on ventilators, but deaths have been rare.

The condition — multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children — is rare but can occur in children with current or recent COVID-19 infections. Symptoms include fever and problems in at least two organs, often including the heart. Digestive problems are common, and some cases have been mistaken with Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.