In its weekly newsletter, Santa Barbara County reminded residents that children and teens under the age of 21 who have contracted Covid-19 can present with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C. The inflammation can appear up to eight weeks after a child or teen contracts Covid-19, and can affect the lungs, kidneys, skin, brain, heart, eyes and/or gastrointestinal organs. 

Signs of MIS-C include a fever and any of the following: abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash and dizziness. If the child presents with trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to stay awake, or pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, call 911. 

The California Public Health Department reported a total of 629 cases of MIS-C and six deaths due to the disease in California, noting that MIS-C numbers tend to rise around three to eight weeks following a rise in Covid-19 cases. The department also warned that approximately half of children who have MIS-C are admitted to the ICU. The average age of those who present with MIS-C are eight years old, and 60% are male. 

As of the end of September, 68.4% of the eligible population of the county is fully vaccinated, and 58% of the total county population is vaccinated. Between the week of Sept. 24 and Sept. 30, the county reported 748 new cases and 445 active cases for a total of 42,322 cases and 503 total deaths. 

The county is also reporting higher numbers of Covid-19 in the unvaccinated populations versus the vaccinated populations. Between Sept. 9 and Sept. 15, the county saw 429 Covid-19 cases among unvaccinated people, and 139 cases among vaccinated people. During that same period, there were 45 hospitalizations – 15 in the ICU – and four deaths. The majority of cases were seen between people between the ages of 30 and 49. 

The CDC also released the results of a study done amongst people who received three doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, which showed no adverse reactions to the third dose. The study was conducted among 12,591 people. 

Santa Barbara County is reminding residents to get their flu shots, telling residents that flu activity can “peak December through February and can last until May.” Protection against the flu kicks in two weeks after the vaccination.

“Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health. Flu vaccines are not designed to protect against Covid-19. Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death in addition to other important benefits,” the county said in a press release.

To learn where to get vaccinated within the county, visit publichealthsbc.org/vaccine

To get tested for Covid-19, find a site at publichealthsbc.org/testing. These sites are only offering the PCR test. For more information from the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, call 211 and press #4 or email the county at PHDDOC.PIOCommunitySupport@sbcphd.org

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