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Unknown Illness Most Likely Tied To COVID-19 Makes An Appearance Throughout America, Affecting Young Children

The number of children in America that have been hospitalized with the rare mysterious syndrome has been growing over the past few weeks. Most of these children have tested positive for the coronavirus or its antibodies. This information led researchers and doctors to believe that it is tied to COVID-19. While doctors and researchers are trying to pull out more information about this disease, CDC calls it an multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. The effects of this disease can affect children tremendously, but it can be treated, and most of the children diagnosed with this illness are able to recover from it. Hospitals, Health organizations and centers have been on the look out for this syndrome.


The rare illness has popped up in almost half of the states in America, only affecting children, as of May 19th. States including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Louisiana, California and Kentucky have identified at least one case in their state. Health officials of New York are following around 150 potential cases of this illness, with three deaths in the states. Meanwhile, in New Jersey there were at least a dozen cases recorded. 


Although doctors and health care workers suspected COVID-19 to be involved, they truly don’t know for sure. Dr. Eva Cheung, a pediatric cardiologist and critical care specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, which has treated more than 35 patients so far with the syndrome says, “I do think that this is related to Covid.” When a majority of the children affected by the syndrome tested positive for either coronavirus or its anti-bodies, the others haven’t, which makes it hard to understand the cause of it. Although Dr. Cheung said, “It’s possible that these negative tests were inaccurate,” because many of these tests are unreliable. 


What caught health officials' eyes was that most of the children that had gotten sick, didn’t report having any respiratory illness recently. This can suggest that these children were exposed to the coronavirus, but didn’t get sick or their symptoms are very mild. 


The possible symptoms of the syndrome include constant fever, abdominal pain, rash and an inability to maintain a normal blood pressure. Although, researchers say that there may be a much wider range of side effects, this makes it difficult for parents looking for symptoms in their children with this syndrome.The symptoms are similar to Kawasaki disease or better known as toxic shock syndrome, which is a rare inflammatory illness that usually affects children under the age of 5 but the cause of the disease is also unknown. Michael Portman, the Director of Pediatric Cardiovascular Research at Seattle Children's Hospital, says that the symptoms of the syndrome are "much more severe" than what is generally seen in Kawasaki disease. Like most health workers and doctors, he says it isn't known why this illness is mostly showing up in just kids.


Parents and guardians are directed to contact their pediatricians if their child has a persistent fever above 101, and especially if they develop other symptoms consistent with the syndrome, like a bad stomach ache. Parents can easily talk to a pediatrician over the phone and will direct what to do after, which will be best for the child. There's no telling the future, so we'll just have to see where this mysterious syndrome goes, how and who it affects.