CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – A few weeks ago, when reports of a mysterious illness in kids started to circulate, everything started to make sense for Sara Rohner and the horrific illness her son Michael had earlier in the year.
“His pediatrician said these reminded him of Kawasaki disease and was considering testing him for it, but he didn’t have the full-blown symptoms. They said, ‘We think this is just a virus but we’re going to keep an eye on it.’”
Last week the CDC sent out a health alert to doctors and hospitals to be on the lookout for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C.
In January, Sara says Michael’s entire pre-school class became sick with COVID-19-like symptoms. Flu and Strep tests came back negative, but it was weeks before Colorado had a confirmed case of coronavirus.
“When they started pushing out information about COVID-19 my husband and I said, ‘Is there a chance Michael could have had that?’ Because all of the symptoms he had, they all lined up, even the first bout of it,” Sara said. “Within two to three weeks after he got better, out of the blue he had a 105-degree fever that lasted for five days. Really bad diarrhea, body aches, vomiting, inflammation and then a rash showed up out of nowhere.”
Between Urgent Care visits, pediatrician appointments, and a visit to the emergency room, no one had answers or a diagnosis. The family’s pediatrician continued to monitor Michael until he recovered. Now, weeks later, she believes he had MIS-C.
“Had I have taken my son in today, with those same symptoms, I’m sure he would have been put into the intensive care unit. The amount of symptoms he had that lined up with what they’re saying now, they’re just too similar,” Sara said.
Michael has recovered and is doing well. His fifth birthday is coming up soon.
The State of Colorado says there are three cases of MIS-C that have been treated at Children’s Hospital Colorado. CBS4 found out a fourth child was being treated this week at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.
It’s unclear how many cases there are in Colorado, or how many have gone unnoticed. The state hasn’t updated its MIS-C count in two days.
The Rohners want more parents to know about the rare issue so they can advocate for their children.
“It’s one of those things you can’t shrug off. You’ve got to say, ‘There’s something wrong with my child. Please keep looking into it.’ There have got to be more people that went through the same exact thing and were told it’s just a virus. That was unlike any other virus we have had had in our family before,” Sara said.