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Mississippi child suspected of having a rare illness linked to COVID-19



(Image by Felipe Esquivel Reed, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Doctors suspect that a Mississippi child has a rare illness thought to be connected to recovery from COVID-19.

For the most part children are largely spared by the virus. Most children who contract COVID-19 only suffer very mild symptoms, and only those with underlying health problems have been hospitalized. In Mississippi, 4.7% of cases and no deaths from the virus have been reported in children 18 years of age and younger. Of the 488 cumulative juvenile cases reported since March 11, only 17 have required hospitalization.

The illness, called pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, is similar to Kawasaki’s disease, which is an immune reaction that causes inflammation in the blood vessels and can cause lasting heart damage, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. The syndrome’s symptoms include high fever, abdominal pain, skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes and a strawberry-red tongue.

“It’s primarily in kids less than five years of age,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs during Gov. Tate Reeves daily Facebook update Thursday.

“We will start collecting case reports from physicians. It’s been becoming a reportable condition now in Mississippi. Physicians need to tell us so we can then report it on the CDC. Thus far, we have one suspected case of this syndrome that we are looking into right now.”

About 100 cases of the syndrome have been diagnosed in the U.S., making it exceedingly rare, and three children are thought to have died from the it. At this point, the syndrome has not been conclusively linked to COVID-19, although preliminary tests show COVID-19 antibodies in the majority of the victims, and a recent study from Italy has shown a strong association.

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