Utah Girl Taking Part In Study About Impact Of COVID On Children

Dec 14, 2020, 10:51 PM | Updated: Dec 15, 2020, 6:23 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A pediatric cardiologist at Primary Children’s Hospital in Utah has just launched a five-year, longitudinal study on a rare condition impacting kids who have contracted COVID-19 called multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C.

MIS-C can follow a positive COVID *antibody* test several weeks after virus symptoms are over. 

Researchers said the hope is this study could help solve one more mystery on whether long-term problems could be linked to COVID.

MIS-C is an overreactive immune response to the coronavirus, which is much like the body’s immune “alarm” turning on to fight infection and not being able to switch off. Fever, shock, and multi-organ inflammation often set in, and researchers want to figure out why that’s happening in the first place.  

Marilyn Dayton’s daughter, Madelyn, 12, was diagnosed with MIS-C in November. 

“The week before, she was in her fourth day of basketball practice. I mean she was super active,” said Dayton.

Her daughter had no pre-existing conditions, but what she came down with was worse than any flu Dayton had ever seen. So she drove her daughter to Primary Children’s Hospital.  

“I’ve never seen any of my kids or really anybody as sick as she was.”

When they arrived at the emergency room, doctors told her Madelyn had COVID antibodies, which was shocking because the family didn’t know they had been exposed. 

But a rare condition showing up in kids across the world called MIS-C had sent Madelyn’s immune system into overdrive.

She was struggling to breathe and her heart and organs were starting to shut down.

Dayton said seeing her daughter that way was the reason her family decided to participate in the study.

Pediatric cardiologist Dr. Dongngan Truong is the co-chair of the study that will ultimately include 600 children affected by MIS-C. She, along with a doctor from Boston Children’s Hospital, started seeing reports out of Europe in March and April indicating kids were not walking away from COVID unscathed as was previously thought.

Dr. Truong said she was determined to figure out why. 

“That’s why I think it needs to be studied,” said Truong. “It is very rewarding and exciting to think that we could learn more.”

Madeyln and her family agreed.

“We need to help the medical field understand what this is,” said Dayton.

Dr. Truong said one of the really cool things about this study is the research will be measured against other studies currently happening. The hope is five years from now, doctors will know a lot more about COVID and MIS-C so we can prevent it. 

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Utah Girl Taking Part In Study About Impact Of COVID On Children