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B.C. confirms first case of COVID-19-linked syndrome in children

Last Updated Oct 15, 2020 at 4:39 pm PDT

FILE - Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. British Columbia is introducing a new saline gargle test for students from kindergarten to Grade 12 to help make it easier for children and teenagers to check whether they have COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the first confirmed case of MIS-C- in B.C.

The province announced 142 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths or outbreaks in healthcare

There is one community cluster at a FedEx office in Kelowna

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — B.C.’s top doctor confirmed a the first case of a rare illness that affects children and could be linked to COVID-19.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there has been one case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) confirmed after a child tested positive for COVID-19.

She explained the child is under the age of five and has fully recovered.

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. The cause is not known.

Sixteen other children were under investigation for symptoms of MIS-C and have been under ongoing monitoring. None of them had tested positive for COVID-19.

“And in the assessment of the pediatrician, it is much more aligned with what we normally see with Kawasaki syndrome and children,” Henry said of the 16 cases. “Again, also a relatively new syndrome that’s associated with infectious illness in some cases.”

She said the cause of Kawasaki syndrome is also not known. Both syndromes are associated with the body’s inflammatory processes.

Any child that is hospitalized with the symptoms that meet the definitions will be monitored.

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Henry also announced 142 COVID-19 cases and a new community cluster at a FedEx office in Kelowna.

She said no one is at risk for picking up their packages and contact tracing is underway.

There were no outbreaks in healthcare to report, though, 19 are still ongoing. Seventeen of those are in long-term care facilities, two are in acute care.

No one else has died from the virus, leaving the number at 250 since the pandemic began.

Prevention and flu season

On International Handwashing Day, Henry took the opportunity to remind British Columbians the importance of proper hygiene.

“The simple act of cleaning our hands can make a big difference in our lives and make sure that we are protecting each other and ourselves from COVID-19, but also for many other illnesses — everything from the things that cause stomach upset to influenza.”

She said flu vaccine supplies are coming in and are being distributed around the province, while she assured there will be enough doses. 

“Here in B.C. and across Canada, influenza, so far, rates have been very low in our community, so we’re not yet into that season. We have time to make sure that everybody who wants it can be immunized in the next few weeks”

The end of October into November is the optimal time to be immunized, she said, while stressing the importance of flu vaccinations during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, 74 people are in hospital because of COVID-19, with 24 in critical care.

Since the start of the pandemic, 11,034 British Columbians have tested positive for COVID-19. Of them, 9,257 people have recovered, the rate is 84 per cent.

After coming into contact with someone who has COVID-19, 3,683 people are now under public health monitoring.