A rare complication from COVID-19 may threaten children
Pediatric medical professionals across the world are seeing what is believed to be a rare complication of COVID-19 in children. While some children have been treated for the virus during the pandemic, the number impacted has been far fewer than adults. Studies have shown that children may likely have COVID in larger numbers, but without symptoms.
Now, recent cases of a mysterious multi-system inflammatory syndrome being seen in children is raising concerns. First identified in children in Europe and now in New York and other parts of the U.S., the syndrome presents with symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome. It’s being seen in children as young as 2 and well into the teens. Many have required intensive care with cardiac or respiratory support.
“This appears to be a very complex complication of COVID-19,” says Dr. Frank Belmonte, chief medical officer of Advocate Children’s Hospital. “We are currently learning new things about this virus every day. This is the first indication that children may be more negatively impacted than we first expected.”
Dr. Belmonte says parents should watch for the following symptoms and react quickly to seek help:
- Persistent fever
- Abdominal problems
- Red eyes
- Swollen lymph nodes
“Early diagnosis and treatment are essential,” says Dr. Belmonte. “If you have questions, you’ll want to call your pediatrician, or in more serious cases, go to a pediatric emergency department.”
About the Author
Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!