Mystery child illness and its connection to COVID-19

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Dr. Colleen Fogarty, the Department Chair for the University of Rochester Department of Family Medicine, discussed Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome and its possible connection to COVID-19 Friday during News 8 at Sunrise.

Dr. Fogarty said earlier this week the NYC Health Department released a bulletin about Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome, that was seen in the UK and also in NYC and Long Island. The bulletin documented about 60 suspected cases of the mystery illness. The New York State Department of Health has also issued its own bulletin.

Dr. Fogarty explained the children have a prolonged fever and signs of shock, including low blood pressure, with blood tests showing systemic inflammation. Some children have a rash and abdominal pain, and occasionally inflammation of the heart muscle or other heart problems.

The syndrome seems to appear weeks or a month after a surge of COVID, and many of the children have evidence of prior COVID infection. It is similar to Kawasaki disease, which is a rare inflammatory condition in children that causes inflammation of the blood vessels, including the arteries of the heart, accompanied by a fever, rash, and lymph node swelling.

Dr. Fogarty noted, while the pediatric inflammatory syndrome is thought to be related to COVID, this isn’t certain yet. We will need to study more cases to understand more.

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