What is COVID-19?
The coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19, is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
For more information about the virus, please visit:
What other complications does COVID-19 cause?
Doctors in Europe and the U.S. have reported new cases of an inflammatory illness in children that resembles Kawasaki disease (KD) and toxic shock syndrome (TSS), two uncommon illnesses in children. This new illness is called pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). While there have been cases of MIS-C reported in the U.S., this appears to be rare compared to overall COVID cases.
Experts have defined this syndrome in children who have prolonged fever, inflammation on lab tests, and abnormalities in one or more organ. Some of these children also have signs and symptoms seen in KD and/or TSS, including red eyes, red lips and rash. There are also some patients that have had a positive test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. And some patients have the virus in their nose and/or have antibodies to the virus in their blood, which means they were previously infected, while others do not have evidence of current infection. There is concern that COVID-19 could be the cause of MIS-C. Patients may become sick and need to be hospitalized, some needing intensive care.
Pediatricians in the U.S. and Europe, including pediatricians at Children’s Mercy, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working together to learn more about MIS-C. Additionally, teams in New York are looking at the virus and the patients to see if the changes that occur in the virus’ genes and/or specific genetic factors in children make some people at higher risk for this syndrome.
Experts around the world, including the team at Children’s Mercy, are working together to determine the cause and best treatments for MIS-C. At Children’s Mercy, Pediatric Intensivists, Cardiologists, Rheumatologists, Hospitalists and Infectious Diseases physicians are all working together to help make the diagnosis and provide the best care for the children in our community.
Parents should seek immediate medical attention if their child is having difficulty breathing, showing signs of dehydration, is acting lethargic or has a fever that cannot be reduced with acetaminophen.
Concerned your child has symptoms of MIS-C?
If you are concerned your child may have symptoms of MIS-C, please discuss with your primary care physician. You can learn more about MIS-C through the following resources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Academy of Pediatrics