It's rare but there are an increasing number of children experiencing a dangerous inflammatory syndrome likely linked to coronavirus.
More than 100 possible cases have shown up in the New York City area of what doctors are calling “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome.”
At least two young boys and an 18-year-old girl have died as a result of the syndrome.
Cases are popping up in other U.S. cities and in Europe as well.
The symptoms are similar to another condition called Kawasaki disease that is triggered by infections.
“This happens with a lot of viruses, that they can trigger these types of inflammatory syndromes,” said Dr. Purvi Parikh, pediatric immunologist at NYU Langone Health. “And in the case of COVID-19, we've seen it in adults, and this is the first time we're seeing it in children.”
The coronavirus-related inflammatory syndrome can affect multiple organs.
Symptoms are high and long lasting fevers, rashes, swelling of palms and feet, swollen lymph nodes, and red eyes.
Not all the children experiencing these issues have tested positive for COVID-19. It could be a delayed complication.
“A majority of children don’t develop this syndrome and the ones who do develop it, the majority actually recover fully,” said Parikh.
Early treatment is best. So, if a child has inflammatory symptoms, it’s best to see a doctor right away.
“Many of these children are getting something called intravenous immunoglobulins, so its infusion of antibodies that help them fight off this inflammatory syndrome,” said Parikh. “Some kids need steroids. Some need aspirin.”
Doctors also point out children appear to be recovering better than adults from this syndrome, and it is not contagious like the virus.