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CDC reports concerns over COVID-related disease present in children

Posted at 4:10 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 18:40:52-04

BOISE — The CDC is expressing concern over a new health problem possibly related to COVID-19, specifically affecting kids.

MIS-C, also previously known as multi-system inflammatory syndrome or Kawasaki's disease, is popping up in children across the country. It's the newest, and youngest reaching, development in the COVID-19 health crisis.

"We think it's related to COVID, we think that this is something that happens to pediatric patients when they are really recovering from the illness where they are getting better, and they are not having severe respiratory symptoms anymore, and they are on their way to recovery," said system medical director for St. Luke's Children's Kenny Bramwell,

"and then all of a sudden they develop pretty severe symptoms in other parts of their body."

Doctors are identifying dozens of cases of the disease, mainly in coastal locations like New York. It's relatively rare considering pediatric patients with covid make up only 1% of those who need to be hospitalized for COVID-19. However, it can still present if a child was asymptomatic while battling COVID-19.

"We haven't seen it yet here, we tend to be 2-4 weeks behind some of these coastal cities, so we are in preparation phases right now," said Bramwell.

One of the reasons it's so hard to pin down is because it involves so many different organ systems — anything from problems related to skin, heart, lungs, or kidneys.

"The things that would tip a family off that this is happening would be if a patient develops a severe rash or swollen lymph nodes or if they have significant weakness that they haven't had before or certainly difficulty breathing," said Bramwell.

So far, there are no reported cases in Idaho. St Luke's expects to see a few instances of the next few months or maybe even a year, but right now their efforts are focused on preparations.