Children with perplexing syndrome linked to covid-19 may be experiencing deadly ‘cytokine storm’

Children with perplexing syndrome linked to covid-19 may be experiencing deadly ‘cytokine storm’

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month issued an alert warning doctors to be on the lookout for what they are calling multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, which is now believed to have impacted approximately 300 U.S. children. It appears to have some characteristics in common with Kawasaki disease, a rare illness that typically impacts children under the age of 5 and whose cause is unknown. At Mount Sinai, the children, who came through the emergency department, all appeared well initially despite having multi-day fevers. Each complained of different symptoms but blood tests, imaging and heart monitoring showed they all appeared to be having an exaggerated inflammatory reaction in what doctors suspect is post-viral complication of covid-19. The first child to arrive at Mount Sinai on Apr. 25 was Malcolm Edgar, a previously healthy 13-year-old from Brooklyn. Edgar, an athlete who is the third baseman and pitcher on a competitive baseball team, had had six days of fever that shot up to 104 degrees. When he woke up on the 25th, he had bloodshot eyes and a rash on the trunk of his body. His tongue had what they described as an odd “strawberry texture.” At the hospital, doctors ran a battery of tests and his initial vitals seemed fine, except for a slightly elevated heart rate. So they gave him fluids and asked him to wait for the results. Strother recalls that the report he got from the doctor overseeing Malcolm’s care was that “he was walking ...
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