Mysterious Syndrome May Be Tied to COVID-19

Rare inflammatory syndrome affecting children may be linked to COVID-19

(RxWiki News) A rare, mysterious syndrome appears to be affecting some children in New York. And health officials are saying it may be linked to COVID-19.

As of May 5, 64 children in New York had reportedly been affected by pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome possibly associated with COVID-19, according to the New York Department of Health. NPR reported that similar cases (and one death) had been reported in other parts of the United States.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, children have appeared to be less severely affected by COVID-19 than adults. Now, it seems that some children may be affected by this serious inflammatory syndrome after COVID-19 infection.

Children presenting with pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome may show the following symptoms, New York health officials said:

  • Persistent fever
  • Highly elevated markers of inflammation
  • Dysfunction of multiple organs

Most of the children who have presented with this syndrome have also tested positive for COVID-19. According to a press release from the New York Department of Health, this syndrome holds several similarities to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.

Kawasaki disease causes the walls of some blood vessels to become inflamed. It is most common in young children. Toxic shock syndrome is extremely rare, although it can be deadly. It is a complication of severe bacterial infections.

New York health officials said hospitals must report cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome possibly associated with COVID-19 and perform a COVID-19 antibody test. They also advised health care providers to consider this syndrome when treating children who present with symptoms.

Pediatricians interviewed by NPR said parents should not take this syndrome as a reason to panic because it is still very rare. Still, if you suspect that your child is sick, it's extremely important to contact your health care provider as quickly as possible.

Review Date: 
May 31, 2020