According to CNN, the CDC recently sent out a health advisory to doctors across the United States alerting them of a new syndrome affecting children in eighteen states, Washington, D.C., and across Europe.
The CDC believes the syndrome, called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is related to COVID-19.
The UK, the first to alert doctors about MIS-C, was followed by Italy, France, Spain and several other countries reporting similar cases.
Doctors’ COVID-19 Video Chats
Jeffrey Burns, M.D., Children’s Hospital Boston, has been conducting video chats with doctors worldwide in which they are comparing COVID-19 pediatric cases.
Dr. Burns told CNN that the first descriptions of the syndrome resembled toxic shock. He added that this new syndrome appears to be rarely fatal, yet three children have died in New York. The majority of the affected children have recovered.
That was about five weeks ago when the doctors noticed that the symptoms seemed to describe Kawasaki disease. Kawasaki is a rare inflammatory condition involving the heart and major arteries.
As the number of cases grew, the doctors realized that it had to be another type of inflammatory syndrome. Most of the children exhibiting symptoms tested positive for COVID-19 or had a previous infection.
Yet doctors in New York disagree and are still of the opinion that the disease may be Kawasaki. They contend that MIS-C symptoms are similar to toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease.
A Plausible Explanation
Dr. Glen Budnick, pediatrician, gave his opinion to CNN. He said that the difference in the symptoms may be that MIS-C occurs as a second phase of COVID-19.
The doctor further explained that the immune system may be overreacting to the invasion of the virus. Dr. Budnick said that since these diseases are inflammatory, the overreaction might cause a “Kawasaki-like” disease.
MIS-C in New York City
New York City saw cases of COVID-19 increase rapidly during March and April 2020. By May, the NYC Health Department began to see reports of a multisystem inflammatory syndrome affecting children.
The NY State Health Department is currently reviewing as many as 110 possible cases of what appears to be the MIS-C syndrome.
Again, it is noted that the syndrome seems to affect children previously exposed to the COVID-19 virus. These children either present antibodies or are testing positive for COVID-19.
The CDC told CNN that it is also reviewing these cases. The agency spokesperson acknowledged that there is limited information available about critical aspects of the new syndrome.
In order to characterize the new condition, the CDC is requesting that healthcare providers notify health authorities of any suspected MIS-C cases.
Kawakasi vs. Toxic Shock Syndrome
Kawakasi disease is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in the US. It generally affects children under the age of five. The disease produces rash, fever, swollen neck glands and severe swelling of feet and hands. Complications of the disease may be aneurysms and enlargement of coronary arteries.
Toxic shock syndrome involves problems with body organs, shock, and fever due to a toxin produced by staphylococcus bacteria.
The new syndrome deprives parents of the security they have had thinking that their children were protected from the virus.