The disease is similar to Kawasaki disease, a rare and complex syndrome that turns a child’s immune system against its blood vessels, and it could lead to permanent heart damage. There is a risk of having coronary problems for life.
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In the United States, approximately 5,500 cases of Kawasaki disease are diagnosed each year. But like many pediatric hospitals around the world, Los Angeles Children’s Hospital is seeing an increase in the number of cases from the previous two years.
Dr. Jacqueline Szmuszkovicz, who studied Kawasaki disease, said the three children at the children’s hospital being treated were all tested positive for anti-COVID-19 antibodies, which means they probably had the new coronavirus a while before I develop Kawasaki symptoms.
“And now their immune system responds with inflammation,” she said. “It leads to a syndrome. “
Szmuszkovicz says the connection has led to a new diagnosis called PIMS, for pediatric inflammatory multi-system syndrome.
Symptoms of Kawasaki include: persistent high fever, rash, cracked red lips, red tongue, swollen eyes, hands and feet, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.
The three children treated at CHLA are all doing well and receive personalized treatment plans. Doctors are currently studying other recent Kawasaki cases to see if these patients have also been exposed to COVID-19.
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