Pediatrician says parents should be aware but not panic over mystery illness in children linked to COVID-19

Pediatrician says parents should be aware but not panic over mystery illness in children linked to COVID-19
Kids are getting sick in New York and a few other states with a serious inflammatory syndrome doctors think is tied to coronavirus.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - There is growing concern across the country about a new mystery illness in children linked to COVID-19. Over 100 children in New York have been diagnosed with the condition referred to as “multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children.”

In the Cape Fear region, there are no known reported cases of this new mystery illness, but pediatricians, like Dr. Lori Tackman of Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center say they are aware.

"It is out there, we're starting to notice it, but that's the thing with this coronavirus. We're learning as we go," Dr. Tackman says.

The rare but dangerous inflammatory syndrome resembles Kawasaki disease which is typically found in children under the age of five. The first cases of the disease in the United States was reported in 1976, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Fewer than 200,000 children are diagnosed each year. The risk of death from the disease is low.

Dr. Tackman says the multi-system inflammatory syndrome is new but the symptoms, which mimic Kawasaki disease, are not.

"Fevers that just won't go away, poor feeding, lethargy, a rash on the hands and feet and, of course, vomiting and diarrhea and any type of cough or respiratory symptom," she says.

In Brunswick County, only one child has been diagnosed with the coronavirus and there is no information that indicates that case is linked to the mystery illness.

Tackman says parents should pay attention to any warning signs but should not panic.

“Parents just need to be aware of things to look for and please call their pediatrician if they are concerned about any symptoms that they might be seeing.”

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.