The New York-Presbyterian Hospital is running an awareness campaign on myocarditis in children, which appears to suggest that heart inflammation in children is a common condition.
The video, titled “Pediatric Patient Story – Suri,” tells the story of a kid who suffered from a bad stomach ache, which later turned out to be myocarditis – a severe inflammation of the heart.
The video caption states, “Our multidisciplinary pediatric critical care team worked to regulate her heartbeat – and got her back to feeling like herself.”
Myocarditis is incredibly rare in children, with studies suggesting that 1 to 2 per 100,000 children suffer from the condition – those cases usually stem from cold viruses.
With that data in mind, why did the hospital suddenly want to raise awareness?
According to data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), myocarditis and pericarditis cases soared in 2021 and 2022.
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium). The inflammation can reduce the heart’s ability to pump blood, the Mayo clinic says on its website. Myocarditis can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and rapid or irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
Infection with a virus is one cause of myocarditis. Sometimes a drug reaction or general inflammatory condition causes myocarditis.
Severe myocarditis weakens the heart, so the rest of the body doesn’t get enough blood. Clots can form in the heart, leading to a stroke or heart attack.
As the CDC writes on its website:
Myocarditis and pericarditis have rarely been reported. When reported, the cases have especially been in adolescents and young adult males within several days after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna).