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The Illness Affecting Kids Exposed to COVID-19 Has a Potential Treatment

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic one of the scariest developments by far has been the discovery of a pediatric illness resembling Kawasaki disease and toxic shock that health experts believe may be linked to COVID-19. As more information comes out and health officials get the chance to better understand how the illness (dubbed MIS-C, for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children) moves through a child’s body, they’re updating the general public about signs to look out for and the treatments that they think will be effective. Most recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared an update on such treatments during a global call for doctors on Tuesday.

On the call, saved in webinar form on the CDC website, experts noted that hospitals have had some success in treating the illness with immunotherapy and steroids, which can work to calm overactive immune responses.

Previously the agency shared that the illness (which has been found in the United Kingdom as well as 24 states in the US with at least 147 potential cases in New York City alone) appears with symptoms resembling Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Those symptoms include:

  • Prolonged fever of five days or more.
  • Difficulty feeding in infants or inability to drink fluids.
  • Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Change in skin color becoming pale, patchy or blue.
  • Trouble breathing or quick breathing.
  • Racing heart or chest pains
  • Decreased urine frequency
  • Lethargy, irritability or confusion

The CDC notes that the illness, while rare, is believed to develop roughly four weeks after the patient was exposed to COVID-19 — though many of the cases have shown no symptoms of coronavirus.

Health Department officials have said that if the syndrome is suspected, pediatricians should immediately connect patients with specialists in pediatric infection disease, rheumatology or critical care as acting quickly and getting an early diagnosis and treatment is necessary to prevent organ damage and longer-term complications.

For peace of mind in a scary situation, having an at-home emergency kit for illness can be helpful for your whole family. Here’s our guide to an at-home first-aid kit for quarantine:


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