Children have started falling victim to a rare, mystery illness that is believed to be linked to COVID-19.
Doctors are now warning parents to be on the lookout for symptoms in children, which may not appear for quite some time after exposure to the novel coronavirus.
New Inflammatory Syndrome Caused by Coronavirus is Affecting Kids
The emerging syndrome is currently being called “Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Potentially Associated With COVID-19.” It is affecting both newborns and teenagers alike.
Though the syndrome is rare, three children in New York have already died from the illness. Two more deaths are still under investigation, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“As it turns out, these children happened to have the COVID antibodies, or be positive for COVID, but those were not the symptoms they showed when they came into the hospital system,” Gov. Cuomo stated during a press conference.
New York alone may have as many as 93 cases of children with this multi-symptom inflammatory syndrome. However, it’s not just in NY. Cases have also been identified in 10 other states, Washington D.C., plus at least 50 cases in European countries. The rare syndrome is also being blamed for one pediatric death in England.
So far, experts believe the mystery illness may result from an unusual inflammatory reaction to the coronavirus. It could appear as late at four to six weeks after the initial infection, even in children who never showed symptoms for coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health are working on criteria that can be used nationwide to identify the disease.
Doctors Warn Parents to Look for These Symptoms
In the meantime, doctors are warning parents to look for known symptoms of the multi-symptom inflammatory syndrome.
Symptoms are similar to more commonly-known inflammatory illnesses, like toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki Disease.
In younger children, symptoms include a fever that lasts at least two days, a rash, red or peeling palms or soles, red and cracked lips, and red, inflamed eyes. They may also have a very red tongue.
In older children and teens, symptoms tend to be more subtle. They could have gastrointestinal issues, such as abdominal pain, belly pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. They could also have a rash, or a fever that lasts more than two days.
In some kids, it has progressed to toxic shock and heart failure.
Most children are recovering from this new inflammatory syndrome. Even still, doctors still urge parents to call their pediatrician immediately if they notice symptoms.