By Dr. Dave Hnida

(CBS4) – Coronavirus and its complications can be severe in children, but that tends to be more the exception than the rule. Most kids, in fact, show mild to no symptoms. But now, an unusual condition likely associated with COVID-19 is being recognized in children.

It’s called “Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome,” and involves severe inflammation of a variety of organ systems of the body, the most serious involving the heart.

To this point, at least 85 cases have been reported in the U.S. across seven states, with the biggest cluster in New York state. None have been reported yet in Colorado.

The newly recognized condition is believed to be a result of a child’s immune system going into overdrive and attacking the body as it reacts to or fights off infection.

So here’s the thought with COVID-19 and this syndrome. It appears that the majority of children who have gotten this condition have, or at least, had been exposed to the virus. Several showed no signs of having been ill with coronavirus, yet tested positive for antibodies.

In the most severe cases that involve the heart, children have gone into shock from heart failure, or have damage to the heart arteries.

Those with less severe inflammation usually get better on their own over the course of several weeks.

Even though this “new” syndrome is now being increasingly recognized, it’s important for parents to know that it is rare, at least to this point.

Nonetheless, experts say to be on the lookout for children and teens who develop a high fever lasting more than a few days, rashes, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea, or red eyes. (Many do not have a cough or respiratory symptoms.)

In these cases, or if you have any concerns, it’s important to contact your doctor for further guidance.

Dr. Dave Hnida

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