NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — COVID-19 appears to be taking a troubling, noticeable turn in children. Connecticut doctors are seeing symptoms in toddlers to teens – weeks after exposure to COVID – of an illness they are calling Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome.
Connecticut Children’s Physician-In-Chief, Dr. Juan Salazar told News 8 Tuesday, “This is still under investigation that COVID-19 in a post-infectious phase is triggering this small blood vessel, vasculitis, which is causing problems in the heart, blood vessels, liver, and other end organs.”
Currently, three patients are at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital in the intensive care unit being treated for this new syndrome.
“All are improving. Having less severed alterations in their blood pressure and heart rate. Fevers coming down,” says Dr. Cliff Bogue, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital Chief Medical Officer.
Two of the patients at Connecticut Children’s were treated and released, one is in critical care awaiting test results.
Symptoms include high fever up to 105 degrees, red blotchy rash, pink-looking eyes, swelling of the face, hands, and feet.
“At least in two cases,” says Dr. Salazar, “they came in with severe hypotension; they came in with what we would call a shock-like state, with low blood pressure, low cardiac output.”
The patients seem to be responding to anti-inflammatories.
“The combination of the gamma globulin with the high dose steroids appears to be very effective,” explained Dr. Salazar.
Dr. Bogue says, “We also treat them with antibiotics just in case it is a bacterial toxic shock syndrome because it can be hard to tell the difference. And that has really been, so far, what is working for us.”
Awareness is key. Doctors anticipate more cases of this rare syndrome, mostly affecting kids.
“As this goes on,” says Dr. Bogue, “we are learning that it may just affect them in a different way.”
So far, 20 children have been treated for COVID at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, 10 at Connecticut Children’s.
Again, doctors say the Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome is still rare. Call your pediatrician if you have questions.
Both hospitals have COVID-19 hotlines: Connecticut Children’s – 833-226-2362 — Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital – 833-275-9644.