UPDATED: Local Children Diagnosed with Illness Possibly Linked to COVID-19

THURSDAY 6:40 P.M. UPDATE:

Medical professionals are reporting that children have also been hospitalized in Palm Beach County for MIS-C, or Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome.

“We started hearing about it in Europe. Pediatricians in Europe telling us about it, and since then we’ve been hearing about it from more and more places,” says local pediatrician Dr. Ivy Faske.

“It seems to involve a whole lot of inflammation in the body affecting different organs that we think is linked to prior infection with coronavirus,” adds Dr. Chad Sanborn, from Palm Beach Children’s Hospital.

Although there have been six reported cases of the illness in Miami, statistics are not yet available in Palm Beach County.

“I think we need to be paying attention and just be vigilant,” adds Dr. Faske, about the possibility of additional cases here.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

Two children at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami have been diagnosed with, and are undergoing treatment for a rare illness that may be connected to COVID-19 infection, according to officials.

A representative for the hospital confirmed the illnesses this week.

“We’ve had two patients so far, and both have responded very well in terms of the treatment,” Dr. Marcos Mestre says. “This is not common, but it is something that you should be aware of, so if you do see that your child has any symptoms that relates to swelling of the lymph node, redness of the eyes, abdominal pain, fever, we think that those patients should be evaluated immediately.”

Officials add that both those children are showing signs of improvement.

The illness, which is officially called Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome, is described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “swelling across multiple body systems, which can lead to major organ failure.”

“Typically, these patients have had some exposure to COVID, usually three to four weeks prior to the symptoms,” explains Mestre.

Cases have also been confirmed at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and Holtz Children’s Hospital, both also located in Miami-Dade County.

“It’s a rare disease,” Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease specialist at Florida International University, says. “It’s an immunologic reaction that some children manifest after they’re exposed to certain viruses. Sometimes, children end up needing to be resuscitated and can even get a heart attack.”

Common symptoms of the disease include:

-Persistent fever

-Rash

-Abdominal pain

-Vomiting

-Swelling of the hands and feet

“We’ve treated a couple of patients at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital,” Dr. Ron Ford says. “We believe two have had this. I can’t go into specifics, but they’ve all done very well. They often had kidney problems, heart problems, sometimes liver problems, often lung problems, and in many cases, became critically ill.”

Doctors say parents should pay most attention if their child has a fever, and to take the child to a hospital if the fever does not go away.

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