Doctors warn parents to look for symptoms of rare and mysterious disease in children that may be linked to coronavirus


HOUSTON – Some children in the United States are falling ill with a mysterious illness linked to COVID-19 and officials want parents in the country to be informed. Although pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome is rare, doctors and researchers are urgently looking for answers.

“These cases may happen and not be diagnosed as COVID-related because they do not appear to be COVID-19,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference.

Cuomo said the state is investigating two more deaths after three children have already been confirmed to have died from the rare disease.

Symptoms of this rare disease

Doctors are alerting the public to a series of symptoms to watch for.

“If they have a child who has had a fever for more than three days and who has these abdominal symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, now is the time to call your pediatrician,” said Dr. James. Schneider, Head of Pediatric Intensive Care. at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center.

The symptoms reflect more well-known inflammatory diseases such as Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome. Other states have reported similar illnesses.

Other cases of this rare disease include four patients at Boston Children’s Hospital, about five to 10 at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, three at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, three at Nemours Children’s Health System in Delaware, three at Ochsner Medical Center in Louisiana and one at Seattle Children’s Hospital, according to a report by NBC News.

The National Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., has also reported two patients, but there are 15 other children in intensive care with some sort of massive inflammatory response to COVID-19. It is unclear whether all of these patients actually have Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome.

“It is possible and likely that this problem exists in other states and we want to make sure they are aware of it,” said Cuomo.

The disease could develop later

The newly identified syndrome appears to be the result of an overdrive in a child’s immune system after COVID-19 infection. Experts know that this can develop up to six weeks after infection with the coronavirus even if children who did not know they had COVID-19. We learned last week that some COVID-19 patients have heart damage, including some children.

It is important to remember that it is very rare and that most children recover. Doctors say there is no way of knowing which children are at risk.

Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.


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