NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont reported Yale New Haven Health is treating three children with an inflammatory condition possibly linked to COVID-19.
The cases are being treated in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. The hospital is calling the condition “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome.” Officials said those children did test positive for the virus.
News 8 has learned that health officials believe three more children at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) may have the illness. They are waiting for the COVID tests to come back.
“We are trying to understand why this happens, who is at risk for this happening to them and how do you treat it, and that is the new twist for the coronavirus,” said Dr. Juan Salazar, Physician in Chief at CCMC.
Cases of children testing positive for COVID-19 has been rare thus far. Yale health experts said symptoms in kids can range from stomach pains and conjunctivitis [pink eye] to “COVID-toes” to a prolonged fever and crashed lips to coughing [as you see in adults].
“The heart muscle gets inflamed, and as a result in the more severe cases, the heart begins to pump less effectively,” Salazar explained.
Dr. Joseph Vinetz, an Infectious Disease Specialist with Yale Medicine and a professor at Yale School of Medicine told News 8 last week, “It’s crazy; we’re seeing things in both adults and children that we have never seen with any infectious disease before. But before attributing rare and complicated things to COVID-19, I think we have to step back and learn more about it. We are very concerned about our children. The good news is, children recover.”
Vinetz added that children seem to be good transmitters of the virus, but don’t seem to get nearly as sick as adults.
“Those kids we are treating, and fortunately they are doing well, they are getting better,” Salazar said. “And that is the good news because the majority of these kids even with those who have severe inflammation, we will be able to treat them and they will be OK.”
Hospitals have had cases of this “inflammatory syndrome” in the United Kingdom, Boston and New York where patients have died from it.
CT Children’s released a list of symptoms of this new syndrome:
“Many of the symptoms look like a typical childhood illness,” they said, “and they vary from child to child.”
Call a doctor immediately if your child has:
- High, prolonged fever: temperature of 101 degrees or more for more than three days.
- Difficulty feeding (infants) or is too sick to drink fluids.
- Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting.
- Cracked lips.
- Reddish eyes (similar to pinkeye).
- Swollen glands/lymph nodes.
- Change in skin color (becoming pale, patchy and/or blue).
- Racing heart or chest pain.
- Decreased amount or frequency of urine.
- Lethargy, irritability or confusion.
More information on what CT Children’s knows about the syndrome can be found online.
In New York, children have already died from the disease. Symptoms include persistent fever, rash, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing. If your child has those kinds of symptoms, get him or her to the hospital. So far doctors have had good luck treating this with anti-inflammatory drugs. But it is important to get kids treated quickly when they do develop symptoms.