Rare Children's Illness May Be Linked To Coronavirus

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Children's Hospital is helping the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in researching a new syndrome that could be linked to the after-effects of COVID-19 in kids.

According to BCH, while coronavirus has been mainly noted in adults, there is an emerging syndrome being called “Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Potentially Associated with COVID-19."

Health experts say the syndrome appears to develop following the peak of a pandemic, when a child's immune system overreacts after the virus. It can include "features of Kawasaki disease or features of shock," including "persistent fever and elevated inflammatory markers," and the need for cardiac and/or respiratory support.

While the syndrome is only recently emerging, some patients have already required intensive care. BCH health experts say the onset of the illness may be due to "an acquired immune response to COVID, [which] activates an inflammatory process in genetically susceptible children."

The complication was first reported in children in the U.K. last month, which prompted a similar alert from New York City's Health Department after fifteen children there were diagnosed with the rare illness.

"All patients had subjective or measured fever and more than half reported rash, abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea." said NYCHD's alert. "Respiratory symptoms were reported in less than half of these patients."

Since the coronavirus arrived in Massachusetts, both Boston Children's Hospital and Bay State Medical Center in Springfield have reported treating patients with pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome.

BCH says while it can be a fatal complication, to date, most children affected by the inflammatory syndrome "have done well."

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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