ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Doctors at the University of Rochester Medical Center gave insight into what they referred to as a rare but serious health condition associated with COVID-19 infection in children.
This condition, called pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, causes inflammation in the skin, eyes, blood vessels and heart, as well as a kind of toxic shock.
Obviously with the COVID pandemic, we’re learning as we go along and PMIS is something that’s relatively new to us,” Chair of Pediatrics, Dr. Patrick Brophy said. “We’re working with multiple different federal and state agencies to actually document and try to identify all of the symptoms and signs that bring kids to us with PMIS.”
The doctors said that although they are learning as they go, the syndrome is something that can be treated at the local hospitals.
Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases and Pediatrics Dr. Brenda Tesini said the important thing for parents is to just be vigilant about their child’s health. “The most important thing for parents to know is to be vigilant about their childs health and still continue to maintain social distancing and masking and all of these measures that have helped keep our rates of COVID infection in Monroe County and the Finger Lakes really fairly low. That’s whats really preventing getting COVID to begin with and that’s what’s going to prevent children getting PMIS.”
Tesini went on to say the antibody test will not really be helpful for parents who want to minimize the risk for their children. “That can be a difficult test to interpret for any one person because it all depends on how likely it is you think you have the infection to begin with.”
Any children who displays these symptoms is also tested for COVID-19. However Tesini said PMIS seems to happen after the infection has resolved. Because of this, the risk of spreading the coronavirus infection is low because the virus has already come and gone.
“The symptoms are really from their own immune response and we think it’s from the immune system being over active,” Tesini said.
All the doctors emphasized that the best way to minimize chance of infection is to maintain social distancing and wear a mask when out in public.
“If you are concerned as a parent about your child no matter where you are urban, rural, wherever please reach out to your physician or your provider and ask the questions you have to ask,” Brophy said. “Please come and get care, don’t ignore it.”