New Coronavirus Related Illness in Children

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A new Coronavirus related illness–only discovered in children–has popped up in several states across the country, including over a half dozen patients in the Chicagoland area. While no cases have appeared at Edward Hospital or in Dupage and will counties at this point, the pediatric community is now looking out for symptoms that differ from those typically associated with the Coronavirus.

Dr. Mike Hoffman of the Elmhurst Clinic says, “Parents should still be on the lookout for typical signs of COVID including fever, cough, respiratory distress or other things…But we want to take into account the other presentations for this particular syndrome, which may include a rash, may include swelling of the hands and feet or gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea or vomiting.”

Familiar Symptoms and Treatment

The illness referred to as pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, was first spotted across Europe and then in New York State. Each child diagnosed also tested positive for either COVID-19 or the antibodies that show exposure to the disease.

This illness shows several similarities to both Kawasaki’s disease and toxic shock syndrome, in terms of both symptoms and treatment

“Because of the similarity we are taking that approach with the treatment including steroids as well. We also note to be vigilant for the blood vessels that feed the heart because sometimes they can be dilated or inflamed. children that are sick enough to end up in the ICU have been treated in that manner as well with aspirin, a treatment called immunoglobulin as well as antibiotics in some cases because of the toxic shock is a bacterial toxin. Some of the children need oxygen or have required ventilation, which includes oxygen.”

Be Proactive

“Waiting on it to see if symptoms develop, I don’t think would be a good idea and we can certainly help people from a nerves standpoint to say that doesn’t sound like this condition or we can act on it quickly and avoid a child developing a more significant symptom that requires more significant care by getting after it early.”

While this condition is still rare, Hoffman suggests being proactive and contacting your physician if you notice symptoms in your child in order to determine the best course of action.

Continue to Use Best Practices

Considering that pediatric multi-symptom inflammatory syndrome has been so closely tied to COVID-19, the best methods for prevention remain the same.

“The prevention methods for trying to prevent COVID which is great hand washing technique, use of the alcohol based hand sanitizer, social distancing, sheltering at home, all of these things are very important.”

There do not appear to be genetic links to the syndrome within families at this time and it is currently unclear why this illness only appears in children.

Naperville News 17’s Justin Cornwell reports.


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