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COVID-19: MISC-C Increase, Pemgarda EUA, Long COVID-19 Research

In a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published March 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children saw a relative increase in the fall of 2023 following a national increase in COVID-19 activity.

Characterized by fever and multiorgan involvement, MIS-C is a rare but serious condition typically occurring two to six weeks after infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

More than 80 percent of the 117 MIS-C cases reported were in unvaccinated children.

The agency notes that the reported 2023 incidence is likely lower than actuality, as jurisdictional reporting of MIS-C cases with illness onset in 2023 is incomplete. The reported number of cases also could be affected by changes in case definition.

FDA Grants Emergency Use Authorization to Pemgarda

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 22 issued an emergency use authorization for Pemgarda (pemivibart), a monoclonal antibody for pre-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19 in adults and adolescents aged 12 years old and older who weigh at least 40 kg.

The drug, developed by Invivyd Inc., is the only monoclonal antibody authorized to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the country. It will be available only to those who are not currently infected with or have not had a known recent exposure to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2, as well as those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.

UVA Health Researchers Discover Possible Answer to Long COVID-19

Researchers at association member UVA Health, in Charlottesville, Va., recently found that COVID-19 may prompt the body to make antibodies that act like enzymes — abzymes — that are used to regulate important functions, such as blood pressure.

If abzymes also are responsible for long COVID-19, a prolonged illness that develops after COVID-19, doctors could target the abzymes to treat COVID-19 and long COVID-19 symptoms at the source.

“If COVID-19 patients are making abzymes, it is possible that these rogue abzymes could harm many different aspects of physiology. If this turns out to be true, then developing treatments to deplete or block the rogue abzymes could be the most effective way to treat the complications of COVID-19,” says Steven Zeichner, MD, PhD.

Contact Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy Beth Feldpush, DrPH, at bfeldpush@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0111 with questions.

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About the Author

Andrea Lugo is a senior communications associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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