COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says a 17-year-old is the person in the state to die from a COVID-19-related condition that affects teens and children.
The teen, from the Upstate, died from Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children on Wednesday, according to a release from the agency. The release did not specify the teen’s gender or any other specific information in an effort to protect the privacy of the patient and family.
“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,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said.
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,” DHEC Interim Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler said. “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 six 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.