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Local infectious disease expert shares warning about COVID-19-related condition in children

Posted at 6:31 AM, May 20, 2020

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Pediatricians in South Florida believe they’re seeing the first cases of the rare COVID-19 related inflammatory syndrome in children.

“I think the fact that it’s been reported in Southern Florida was inevitable,” said Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician, Dr. Juan Dumois.

Two hospitals in Miami-Dade County and one in Broward County have patients in the pediatric intensive care unit.

“It makes sense that it would first appear in Southern Florida because they’ve had the greatest concentration of COVID-19 cases in Florida,” said Dumois.

RELATED: CDC issues warning on mysterious COVID-19-linked syndrome that affects children

Last week the CDC warned that the condition is related to COVID-19.

Doctors say the inflammatory syndrome, called MIS-C, affects many parts of the body, leaving kids in a lot of pain.

Symptoms include stomach aches, vomiting and a fever that can last for days.

Other symptoms include a rash, red eyes, and dry, swollen, and red lips.

RELATED: Inflammatory syndrome likely linked to coronavirus being seen in more kids

The inflammation can also affect their heart, making it not pump effectively.

“Parents may want to be on the lookout for some of the symptoms of this condition so that they take their child in earlier rather than later for evaluation by a medical professional,” said Dumois.

Pediatricians say in general, children will feel pretty miserable if they have this.

They believe MIS-C is a spectrum of disorders defined by how some children’s immune systems are responding to COVID-19.

The syndrome can be serious if left untreated. Children need immediate attention and will likely need to be hospitalized.

Dumois warns the biggest mistake you could make is not taking your child to the emergency room if you think they have this condition out of fear that it’s not safe to go to the hospital right now.

“Most doctors and emergency centers that see children have implemented enough precautions where it is safe to take your child to the doctor,” said Dumois.

Doctors want parents to stay alert, but remember that this syndrome is rare.

“Parents should realize that most children who get infected with the coronavirus are not going to develop this condition," said Dumois. "And we think that it’s a small proportion of all the kids who have been infected who might develop this condition."