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Idaho pediatrician speaks on potential long-term impacts of COVID-19 in children

Barker said she has seen children develop health issues like Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome or MIS-C, as well as long COVID following what were seemingly mild cases of coronavirus in children
Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 12:21 PM MDT
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MERIDIAN, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — During the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s weekly COVID-19 media briefing, an Idaho pediatrician spoke about the potential long-term impacts of COVID-19 in children.

Lisa Barker, M.D. — a pediatrician at St. Luke’s Children’s Treasure Valley — said she has seen families impacted by the COVID-19 virus. She also said while severe cases of COVID-19 are less common in children, there have still been over 8,000 children ages 5 to 11 during the pandemic who have been hospitalized with a COVID-19-related ailment.

Barker said she has seen children develop health issues like Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome or MIS-C, as well as long COVID following what were seemingly mild cases of coronavirus in children.

“I cared for one young boy who had a very mild illness and then came back to the office four weeks later extremely sick, and like many kids with MIS-C required hospitalization,” she said.

Barker said she believes vaccines have emerged as the most important tool in preventing severe COVID-19 cases. She understands that parents have concerns about their children receiving the vaccine, however, and she has already spoken to some parents about the risks of the COVID-19 vaccine for children— including the chance of the child developing myocarditis.

“It’s really important to remember that studies also show that COVID disease and MIS-C for that matter have a much higher risk of myocarditis associated with them and the myocarditis that happens tends to be more severe,” she said.

According to Dr. Barker, more than 5,000 children have been diagnosed with MIS-C since the start of the pandemic. She added she is excited to begin offering the COVID-19 vaccine to this younger age group.

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