CDC on Mental Health, MIS-C & COVID-19

Aug. 14, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released two new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports concerning mental health and substance abuse issues and a rare but severe illness in children that are on the increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to new CDC data, 40% of adults surveyed said they struggled with mental health or substance use in late June, including:

  • 31% anxiety/depression symptoms;   
  • 26% trauma/stressor-related disorder symptoms;   
  • 13% started or increased substance use; and   
  • 11% seriously considered suicide.

The CDC study analyzed 5,412 survey respondents between June 24 and 30.

According to the other CDC study, Illinois is among the top seven states in the U.S. for the number of cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) from March to July – with between 21 and 30 cases. MIS-C has been reported approximately 2-4 weeks after the onset of COVID-19 in children and adolescents. Most cases of MIS-C have features of shock, with cardiac involvement, gastrointestinal symptoms, and significantly elevated markers of inflammation, with positive laboratory test results for SARS-CoV-2.

The CDC says distinguishing MIS-C from other severe infectious or inflammatory conditions poses a challenge to clinicians caring for children and adolescents. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expand in many jurisdictions, healthcare provider awareness of MIS-C will facilitate early recognition, early diagnosis, and prompt treatment.