State reports 11 cases of inflammatory pediatric syndrome

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Health authorities in Washington on Friday said there are now 11 cases of a pediatric inflammatory illness associated with the new coronavirus that have been reported in the state.

Kristen Maki, a spokesperson for the Department of Health, said the cases occurred between April and July. She said according to the latest information available to state officials most of the children were admitted to intensive care units but have since been discharged home.

The Department of Health said Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children is defined as a patient under the age of 21 with a fever, laboratory evidence of inflammation and severe illness involving more than two organs that requires hospitalization. Patients must also have a positive COVID-19 test or exposure to a confirmed case in the four weeks before symptoms began, the department said.

“We are tracking this issue closely and continue to ask health care providers to be on the lookout and immediately report possible cases to local health,” Dr. Kathy Lofy, state health officer for the Department of Health, said in a statement.

Six of the cases in Washington are children 9 or younger and five are in children 10 or older.

More than 60,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Washington. More than 1,650 people have died.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.