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Inflammatory syndrome could be linked to COVID-19 cases in children

Posted May 13, 2020 4:37 p.m. EDT
Updated May 13, 2020 4:47 p.m. EDT

— Doctors in the Triangle have their eyes on a dangerous inflammatory syndrome in children that could be linked to coronavirus.

It has been called "Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome," or PIMS.

The illness is a new health condition seen in children who have been infected with novel coronavirus, recovered from it and see their body's immune system respond to it.

Health experts look into mysterious child illness

Amber Petersen, a Wake County mother of three children, worries for her 4-year-old son who has a weak immune system.

"He's had issues with his immunity and also when he does get a simple virus, it can turn very, very serious," Petersen said.

Doctors from UNC Health say symptoms of PIMS are similar to Kawasaki syndrome -- fever, rashes and swollen hands and feet.

Dr. Eveline Wu, who works in the Department of Pediatrics at UNC, shared why she believes the illness could be related to COVID-19.

"We're seeing clusters of cases in areas like New York, that have a high burden of COVID-19 and two, the timing of these cases are during or coincidental with the COVID-19 pandemic," Dr. Wu said.

Doctors suggest parents wipe their children's toys and monitor them for symptoms.

Petersen said staying home gives her peace of mind. "I would much rather take every precaution possible," Petersen said.

So far, there are fewer than 100 confirmed cases of the syndrome in the United States, in 14 states. WRAL News reached out to WakeMed, Duke and UNC Hospitals. All said there have been no reported cases of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome.

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