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FAQs on Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome, Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome
By Dr. Stephanie Desgrottes, May 12, 2020
In response to the recent news about Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome, we wanted to keep you informed with the following FAQ. Generally, children seem to have been spared from complications and serious illness from COVID-19, however, a very small percentage appear vulnerable to this rare, but serious autoimmune response.
What is Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome?
It is an emerging syndrome potentially linked to COVID-19 infection with similar symptoms and features to Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome.
What is Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome?
• Kawasaki Disease is a rare, acute febrile illness of unknown cause that primarily affects children younger than 5 years of age. Symptoms include: fever, varying rash (patches, bumps), swelling of the hands/feet, irritation and redness of eyes, swollen lymph glands, and irritation of the mouth, lips, and throat.
• Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare, life-threatening complication of certain types of bacterial infections. Symptoms include: high fever, vomiting or diarrhea, rash resembling a sunburn on palms and soles, muscle aches, redness of eyes, mouth and throat and headaches.
What are the symptoms of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome?
Long lasting fever, rash, abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea are the most common symptoms. Red eyes, hand and feet swelling may also be present.
Who is affected by Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome?
It is a disease that usually affects children < 21 years old. It does not appear to be limited to children who already have other risk factors or chronic illnesses.
What is the link between COVID-19 and Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome?
There may be a potential link to COVID-19, although not fully known. Further investigation is needed to determine if and how COVID-19 triggers an immune response in Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome. Most children tested negative to COVID-19 PCR, however, some children had COVID-19 antibodies indicating they may have been infected at some point.
Why is Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome not considered to be Kawasaki Disease and/or Toxic Shock Syndrome?
Unlike Kawasaki Disease, Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome affects older children with abdominal pain as a common symptom and the effect of cardiac inflammation varies.
Is Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Disease contagious?
No, there is no evidence of it.
Are there any treatments for these disorders?
Yes. Children usually require hospital admission with a multidisciplinary specialist approach including Cardiology, Infectious Disease and Rheumatology.
What should I do if my child has these symptoms?
Call our office and schedule a virtual visit with one of our providers.
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