MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health is asking doctors and parents to be on the lookout for a mysterious condition in kids.
State epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield says it can cause rashes and swelling.
“We sent the health alert out because we have heard that there may be some cases in Minnesota,” Lynfield said. “We are just trying to figure out what is going on here.”
M Health Fairview pediatric cardiologist Dr. Stacie Knutson says it may be linked to the pandemic.
“It is a new thing that we’re seeing, and it is something that seems to be associated with coronavirus,” Knutson said.
It’s called multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children. Symptoms are wide-ranging but can include a fever, abdominal pain, red eyes and tongues, cracked red lips and rashes. It sometimes requires hospitalization.
“You can have very mild symptoms or you could have much more severe symptoms,” Knutson said. “If you have that concern, you should get them evaluated.”
There’s a suspected link to COVID-19.
“It’s happening a couple weeks to a month or so after the onset or peak that we have seen in the adult population,” Knutson said. “Based on what other places have seen, we would anticipate that there’s a high likelihood we will start seeing children presenting with inflammatory conditions.”
The state says it will likely appear in children and those under 21. Minnesota doctors are learning from other places with known cases. More than 100 children in New York have had it, and three have died.
“From what we’ve heard in other places, it hits kids, but tends to hit kids in a little bit older range,” Knutson said. “So a lot of teenagers have been presenting with this in other places.”
While much remains a mystery, there are known, effective treatments. And catching it early could prevent long-term damage.
“Even though we’ve heard a lot about it, it still is rare, but it needs to be on our radar,” Knutson said.
Doctors recommend precautions like hand washing and social distancing to prevent this syndrome.
No children in Minnesota have died from the coronavirus itself. However, about 30 kids and teenagers have been hospitalized.
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Source: CBS Minnesota