Long Beach reports first case of rare inflammatory disease linked to COVID-19 in children

Long Beach on Tuesday reported its first case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, known as MIS-C, which is a rare inflammatory disease linked to COVID-19 complications in children.

MIS-C is an inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 and includes symptoms such as persistent fever and inflamed body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys and brain in children and young people.

Overall, Los Angeles County has reported 54 cases of MIS-C in children, including one death. All 54 were hospitalized and half of them were treated in the intense care unit.

Of the children with MIS-C, 30% were under the age of 5, 37% were between the ages of 5 and 11, and 33% were between the ages of 12 and 20. Latinx children account for nearly 74% of the reported cases.

Health officials said the individual in Long Beach was temporarily hospitalized and was now recovering at home. No additional information was available.

The city also reported that five Long Beach Fire Department employees have tested positive for COVID-19, including two assigned to Fire Station 13 on the Westside, one at Station 1 in Downtown and another a Station 11 in North Long Beach. A public-facing Police Department employee assigned to the Field Support Division has tested positive as did an employee in the Marine Bureau.

The city on Tuesday reported 2,521 new COVID-19 cases for a total 41,079 and 24 additional deaths for a total of 484 fatalities. A total of 581 people were hospitalized in the city’s five area hospitals up from 578 on Monday.

The high case count and fatalities reported Tuesday were due to a state processing backlog of cases from last week, officials said.

COVID-19 deaths also continued to mount in Los Angeles County, with another 288 fatalities reported despite signs locally and across the state that hospital admissions due to the virus are leveling off.

Health officials have warned that the apparently slow-down in people being hospitalized with the virus does not mean the dangerous surge that began in November has ended. They note that hospitalizations associated with Christmas and New Year’s gatherings may not have materialized yet.

Meanwhile, the daily rate of deaths continued to provide a grim warning of the severity of virus. With 288 deaths reported by the county Tuesday, the countywide death toll rose to 12,674.

According to the county Department of Public Health, more than 1,600 people died from the virus in the county over the past seven days, an average of about 230 per day. That equates to one death roughly every six minutes.

The county reported another 11,994 COVID-19 infections Tuesday, lifting the total to 947,035. Health officials said Monday that average of 10 people test positive for the virus every minute in the county.

– City News Service contributed to this report.

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Kelly Puente is an award-winning general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. She has worked as a journalist in Long Beach since 2006, covering everything from education and crime to courts and breaking news. Kelly previously worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Orange County Register before joining the Post in 2018. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at kel[email protected].