Hasbro Children’s hospital on the lookout for rare inflammatory disease in children possibly linked to COVID-19

Doctor’s at Hasbro Children’s Hospital are on the lookout for a rare inflammatory disease affecting children, possibly linked to the Coronavirus. They don’t want parents to panic but instead be aware of symptoms.

They are referring to it as “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome”, which was first reported by authorities in the United Kingdom and now has been seen more recently in the United States, including in New York City.

Michael Koster, pediatric and infectious disease specialist at Hasbro Children’s Hospital said they aren’t sure if it’s related to COVID-19, but these pediatric clusters seem to happen about 1 month after the peak of COVID.

Symptoms include a fever, rash, conjunctivitis in your eyes, mucosal changes, and severe abdominal pain and vomiting, according to Koster.

While patients don’t have to have all symptoms, Koster said doctors are reporting all patients do have a fever, usually up to 5 days.

It’s similar to two specific rare diseases which are Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome. Koster said it typically happens due to some type of trigger, often thought to be infectious.

“The biggest concern is the kids can go on to have shock where blood isn’t going where it needs to go which sometimes requires intensive care and fluid recitation and medicine to support blood pressure,” Koster said.

The good news though, most of the kids have recovered in Europe and there have been no reported fatalities, according to Koster.

There is also a treatment for the multi-system inflammatory syndrome that works well, including anti-inflammatories.

In Rhode Island, there have not been any cases so far, but Koster does not want parents to worry and instead be cautious.

“The most important thing is for parents not to be alarmed by this,” Koster said. “It’s first of all very rare. In New York, they have probably seen somewhere between two or three dozen cases so far. We are on the lookout for it here. Awareness is what’s helpful. That’s why the alert was triggered by Europe. To say we are seeing this and be on the lookout.”

Parents who notice their children are having symptoms should call their pediatrician.

“It’s safe to come to the hospital,” Koster said. “We’ve been caring for kids who don’t have COVID. we have very few patients on the pediatric side with COVID illness. on average it’s somewhere between 1 and 3 patients per day. currently, we just have 1 patient in the hospital with COVID who is doing well.

Koster said it’s important to go to the Emergency Department to receive care because in order to better understand this type of multi-system syndrome you need the right laboratories and vital signs checked.



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