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Children’s Wisconsin reports first cases of new and rare disease in children linked to COVID-19

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --A mysterious inflammatory syndrome believed to be connected to COVID-19 is now showing up in children here.
Children’s Wisconsin is investigating the state’s first suspected cases of MIS-C.

Children’s Wisconsin issued a health alert to families about the new syndrome in children-saying even though children who contract COVID-19 might only show mild symptoms, this syndrome can cause severe and dangerous complications.

“Of the seven under consideration, 5 were discharged after relatively brief hospital stays at Children’s Wisconsin, 2 children remain hospitalized and are in good condition,” said Dr. Michael Gutzeit, the Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Wisconsin.

Dr. Gutzeit says since April-they’ve had 7 suspected cases of MIS-C, a new and rare syndrome linked to COVID-19 in children.

“We’re taking a conservative approach with the state and reporting all possible cases in order to gather as much information as possible,” said Dr. Gutzeit.

Kids with the condition have an immune response that is too strong, and it can cause swelling of the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

“We think it has something to do with the body’s immune response still remaining active or reactivating in after the infection that causes these symptoms,” said Dr. Frank Zhu, the Medical Director for Infection Control and Prevention at Children's Wisconsin.

High fever, vomiting, diarrhea, rash and swelling of the hands and feet are all symptoms. Doctors say the potentially fatal disease is similar to Kawasaki disease, but with proper medical care, most do recover.

“While we know a lot about COVID-19, we still have a lot more to learn,” said Dr. Gutzeit. “In a very similar way, this syndrome is something even newer and more recently recognized so there is still quite a bit to learn.”

Children’s Wisconsin says because so much about this syndrome remains unknown-they’ve created a multidisciplinary team to help identify and treat kids.

They also say if some kids with this syndrome can get sick very quickly, so they recommend calling your kids pediatrician right away if you notice symptoms or changes in your child’s behavior. 

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