DHEC confirms first death from new COVID-related condition affecting youths
COLUMBIA — A teenager died last week from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. This is the first death in the state related to MIS-C reported to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). A 17-year-old in the Upstate region died from MIS-C on Jan. 27. To protect the privacy of the child and the family, no other information will be disclosed. “It’s heartbreaking to have to report the death of such a young person. Our condolences go out to the family and to the many families that have suffered loss related to COVID-19,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. At least 42 cases of MIS-C have been reported among children in South Carolina. MIS-C is a rare health condition that occurs in some children and teenagers who have contracted COVID-19 or been in contact with someone infected with the virus. A surge in coronavirus cases across the state has led to record numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. While health experts haven’t fully identified the connection between the virus and MIS-C, a surge in COVID-19 cases could lead to more MIS-C cases. “With the number of cases of COVID-19 we’re seeing in our state, we must be prepared for the unfortunate possibility of more children being affected by MIS-C,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Interim Public Health Director. “We continue to remind South Carolinians that COVID-19 is spreading in our communities at a high rate and it is vital that we all take the steps we know to protect us all from this deadly disease: wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from others, wash your hands frequently, and avoid crowds. And when your time comes, get vaccinated.” “These simple actions are how we protect ourselves and others, including our children,” Traxler said. On July 12, 2020, South Carolina announced its first confirmed cases of MIS-C associated with COVID-19. MIS-C is a reportable condition to DHEC. Symptoms of MIS-C include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, and feeling tired. The vast majority of children with MIS-C recover.