Conway Medical pediatrician sees ‘huge uptick’ of COVID-1 in kids, one with MIS-C symptoms


CAROLINA FOREST, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says two kids contracted the multi-system inflammatory syndrome, MIS-C, as a health complication following being diagnosed with COVID-19, but one local pediatrician points out the data says children get COVID-19 much less than adults.

Conway Medical Center pediatrician Doctor Marc Bahan tells News13 he’s seen two babies that showed cold and respiratory symptoms while COVID-19 positive and a 15-year-old who spent ten days in the hospital with what appeared to be the MIS-C complication.

“We have had a huge uptick in children with COVID-19,” said Dr. Bahan. “Up until the end of May, we only had two or three through Conway. We’re getting six plus a week now.”

Dr. Bahan points out the MIS-C complication is rare, but 70% of kids that get it end up in the intensive care unit. SCDHEC says parents and caregivers should watch for signs like fever, abdominal pain, and vomiting which are signs of MIS-C.

But what about going back to school in a COVID-19 hotspot like Horry County?

“That is a loaded question. The answer to that is it’s going to depend on where you are,” said Dr. Bahan.

He says children do get COVID-19 much less than adults, but he doesn’t think kids will be back in school in August or September.

“It’s not going to be as safe as say, some place in Germany where they’ve got it under control,” he said.

For now, according to the data, Dr. Bahan points out that only 8% of positive COVID-19 kids got the virus from another child.

“If you think going back to school would be a problem, and you can home school your children, and that’s going to make you feel better, that would be great. But, there’s a lot going on, but there’s no simple right answer. There’s no one size fits all,” he said.

SCDHEC and Dr. Bahan agree, continuing to wear a mask and social distance are two methods to stay safe and keep others safe from the virus.

Statement from SCDHEC on children, the coronavirus and MIS-C:

DHEC continues to provide the most current data and information available to the S.C. Department of Education and the S.C. Commission on Higher Education as those organizations continue their careful, well-informed planning for the upcoming school year. DHEC’s epidemiologists and data analysts recently began compiling a weekly Disease Activity by County for the Department of Education to use in its decision-making, we we make that report (updated on Mondays) publicly available here.  The S.C. Department of Education, S.C. Commission on Higher Education, DHEC, and all state agencies continue to plan next steps that are in the best interest of protecting the health and wel-being of our state’s students, teachers, faculty and parents.

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