Rare disease in children linked to COVID-19


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Children in the U.S. have been falling ill to a rare disease that doctors say is related to COVID-19.

So far, the novel coronavirus has seemed to spare most children from developing severe complications.

Dr. Joe Segeleon says children make up about 2% of positive COVID-19 tests, with about 15% of them being asymptomatic.

“With COVID-19 children have a relatively less significant illness, but that doesn’t mean none. So there are sick children, particularly those with underlying, comorbidities that can get quite ill with COVID,” Segeleon said.

Those who are getting sick could now be at risk of developing a rare inflammatory disease that’s showing up in kids in parts of the U.S.

“It’s called multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children that’s associated with COVID-19,” Dr. Joe Segeleon said.

He says the disease affects multiple systems in the body, often presenting with a prolonged fever for more than 24 hours.

“Many of them have a rash, and that can be a rash that, really can look in appearance in different ways, but it’s a predominantly red rash over the body. Some children will get conjunctivitis. Some kids can get cracked lips, or swollen lips,” Segeleon said.

He says the disease is characterized as a post-infectious illness– where some children may have COVID two to four weeks beforehand.

Fortunately, he says some treatment methods have been successful.

“This syndrome is treatable, and most of the individuals have recovered,” Segeleon said.

He says more than 100 cases have been reported in the U.S., but none have appeared in South Dakota.

While parents shouldn’t panic, he does have this advice.

“The same common sense you do every day with your child with regards to looking at how they’re feeling and their wellbeing would apply to COVID as well,” Segeleon said.

If you’re concerned about your child, call your doctor.

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