Mystery syndrome impacting children seemingly connected to COVID-19; no cases in Indiana

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — After several children died of a mysterious illness in New York City, Hoosier doctors are now urging parents to know they symptoms of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome.

Some medical professionals believe this condition is connected to COVID-19.

Dr. James Wood, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Riley Children’s Hospital, confirmed there are no cases in Indiana. He said this syndrome is still really rare.

“The public in general in Indiana shouldn’t panic and shouldn’t be overly concerned,” Wood said. “I think being informed is important. I think parents should really know what to look for. But that said, it’s a really rare thing that we’re seeing.”

There are 85 reported cases in New York impacting predominantly school-aged children. Wood said it is affecting children who either had or were exposed to COVID-19.

“We’re still learning a lot about it, but in general, I don’t think it’s something we need to be panicked about,” Wood said. “But being informed is also very important.”

Doctors maintain PMIS acts similarly to Kawasaki Disease and toxic shock syndrome. Wood said the symptoms include “persistent fever. Fever for four or five or more days is kind of a hallmark symptom of all those syndromes.”

Rash of hands and feet, conjunctivitis and abdominal pain are also some of the symptoms. At this time, there is no known way to prevent it.

“We are still in the very early stages of figuring out who is susceptible to it, why are some kids getting it,” Wood explained. “We don’t know exactly how to prevent it.”

Wood advises parents call their child’s pediatrician first if he/she begins experiencing symptoms. Unless they are persistent, Wood said they are not typically issues warranting an ER visit.

“There’s certainly still no reason to be rushing to the emergency room because there are a lot of things that look like this,” Wood said. “So we really want people to be aware of what the symptoms are, and we want people to stay in communication with their doctor.”

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