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When will pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome be conclusively linked to COVID-19?

Pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome is a potentially novel disease in children that is thought to be associated with COVID-19. According to The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the clinical presentation as currently understood is as follows:

  • Persistent fever, inflammation (neutrophilia, elevated CRP and lymphopaenia) and evidence of single or multi-organ dysfunction (shock, cardiac, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal or neurological disorder)
  • Exclusion of any other microbial cause
  • SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing may be positive or negative

As of 15 May 2020, 17 U.S. states and 6 European countries are reporting cases. So far, most of the cases that have been identified and studied are in New York, the United Kingdom and Italy.

This disease is rare, poorly understood, and a link to SARS-CoV-2 infection has not yet been conclusively established. Previous studies have suggested that some common cold human coronaviruses are not linked to childhood diseases similar to pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome while others do seem to be linked.

This questions asks: When will pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome be conclusively linked to COVID-19?

This question resolves as the date when the first research paper is published that claims a statistically significant association between pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome and infection with SARS-CoV-2. Determination of what constitutes statistical significance will be left to the authors of the paper. Note that such an article may be a pre-print and so need not be peer-reviewed so long as it is deemed credible by Metaculus and the wider research community.

If this does not resolve before 15 May 2023 or if there is a widely accepted research paper whose findings show that there is no statistically significant association between pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome and SARS-CoV-2 infection, then this resolves as >15 May 2023.


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