Coronavirus/COVID-19 continues to ravage the world and now a mysterious inflammatory syndrome affecting children and teens is believed to be linked to the virus. While rare, parents should be aware of the signs and symptoms of the syndrome that has reportedly killed one child.
According to The New York Times, the syndrome may include symptoms like inflammation in the skin, eyes, blood vessels, and heart, as well as fever, rash, reddish eyes, swollen lymph nodes, and sharp abdominal pain. Thus far, the usual signs of COVID-19 -- cough and shortness of breath -- are not being seen in these cases. Some of the children affected have experienced toxic shock and have had very low blood pressure and their blood could not effectively circulate oxygen and nutrients to their organs. Doctors have been referring to the syndrome as “pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome."
How Common Is It?
So far rare, but New York City (as of 5/6/2020) has 64 reported cases, and there are reports of cases in Louisiana, Mississippi, and California. Internationally, it has been seen in England, France, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy.
Is This Syndrome Fatal?
Yes. A teen in England reportedly died from it.
Are Certains Ages More Prone to It?
No. Reports of the syndrome have ranged from infants to teens, according to the NYT.
What Should a Parent Do If Their Child Is Exhibiting Symptoms?
Pediatrician Dr. Katie Schafer tells the NTY parents should take this child to their pediatrician if symptoms are present, and stresses they should not assume symptoms like fever or abdominal pain are related to the usual typical childhood illnesses. “This is presenting very much like a common childhood illness, which it is not,” she said. “This is a novel diagnosis that doesn’t exactly have a name, doesn’t exactly have a timeline, doesn’t exactly have a protocol. We didn’t learn about this in medical school.”
Is There a Way to Treat This Illness?
Reportedly, young patients have been treated with steroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, high-dose aspirin, antibiotics, and supportive oxygen (via the nose, a mask, or a ventilator in serious cases).
Why Is It Believed This Syndrome Is Linked to COVID-19?
In many of the children and teens affected, they have reportedly tested positive for the virus or had a positive antibody test result, which may indicate they were infected weeks prior. One thought is this syndrome may be a post-infection condition of coronavirus.
Why Are Children Affected by This Syndrome and Not Adults?
This is still unknown, but one theory is it could be due to a child having a less developed immune system. Reportedly, many of the kids who have it did not have previous health issues. Further testing is being conducted to determine if there may be a predisposition or genetic reason, along with research about why it affects one child and not their siblings.
The Doctors remind our viewers to seek guidance and treatment from your healthcare provider if you believe you, your child, or a loved one may be sick with COVID symptoms.
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