Concerns about complications from the COVID-19 coronavirus have often been focused on older adults or high-risk individuals. But recent news stories have prompted a concern for parents: whether there is the potential of their child developing a new health condition called Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome.
As of May 21, more than 250 cases of Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome have been reported in the United States, with dozens of suspected cases still being examined. The majority of cases are in New York, but there have been cases in Chicago, Indiana and Michigan. The emerging condition is now being called Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome, formally called Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Potentially Associated with COVID-19.
What Are The Signs of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome?
The most common signs of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome include fever, respiratory problems requiring oxygen and low blood pressure.
Children impacted by Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome may or may not test positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.
How Are Symptoms Of MIS-C Different From Kawasaki Disease?
Symptoms of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome may seem very similar to signs of Kawasaki disease. These symptoms include high fever, swelling of the neck glands, swelling in hands and feet or abdominal pain.
Other common symptoms of Kawasaki disease, according to the American Heart Association, are different from signs of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome. Those signs include:
Rash, which may appear on back, chest or abdomen
Red, irritated eyes
Redness in swollen areas of hands or feet
Swelling or changes around the mouth
Red and dry cracked lips
Red tongue with white spots (called “strawberry tongue”)
Fast heart rate
Children typically develop Kawasaki disease before the age of 5. Patients who have been diagnosed with Kawasaki disease have been said to look very ill and can go into cardiac arrest. Patients may develop heart, kidney, gastrointestinal or neurological disorders.
Cases of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome are being seen in children, teens and in some cases, young adults.
What Should Parents Know About Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome?
The Illinois Department of Public Health has started a statewide public health task force focusing on multi-system inflammatory syndrome. The task force will first educate healthcare professionals and the public about the condition and come up with a reporting system for public health departments to track how many kids are getting sick.