Breaking News
More () »

WPMT FOX43 | News in Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Lebanon News, Weather, Sports

Rare illness in kids linked to COVID-19: What parents need to know

Experts work around the clock to learn more about the multi-system inflammatory illness

YORK, Pa. — There have been several reports over the past few weeks of children getting sick with a multi-system inflammatory illness that appears to be a symptom of COVID-19.  It resembles a rare childhood illness called Kawasaki disease, which doctors say usually strikes healthy children.  

Right now experts do not believe the syndrome is directly caused by COVID-19, but rather the patient's individual immune system's response to it.  However, CNN has reported that not all of the affected children have tested positive for COVID-19.  They also report that doctors are currently investigating cases in at least 150 children, in 17 states. 

Doctors say symptoms include a persistent fever, poor function in organs such as the kidneys or heart, swollen and bright red lips, redness of the eyes and tongue, rash and swollen hands and feet.  The majority of children getting it are between 5 and 9 years old and are not being affected too seriously.  Dr. David Geier is a health and wellness media expert. He says that's in part, due to several proven treatments being used, including blood thinners.

"The vast majority of children are doing extremely well with treatment. it seems that the quicker the parent reports the child having symptoms, the quicker and more effectively a physician can help a child recover, " Dr. Geier said.

The World Health Organization is currently working to define the syndrome more specifically and to alert doctors so they will know what to look for and how to treat it. 

Dr. Geier says if your child has a fever that persists and is accompanied by a rash and abdominal pain, it's always a good idea to call your pediatrician.