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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

New inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19 found in Delaware children

Nick Ciolino
Delaware Public Media

A new condition afflicting children believed to be linked to COVID-19 has shown up in Delaware.  Doctors believe Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome is linked to COVID-19, but stress it is extremely rare.

Nemours Children’s Health System cardiologist Deepika Thacker says a they've seen a few cases at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children since April.  She described it as likely a secondary immune response to the coronavirus.

“So, some symptoms are common.  For example, shortness of breath or the fever or the presentation with a shock-like [presentation] with low blood pressure and requiring a lot of supportive medications to manage that.  But, a lot of the other symptoms are quite unique to this, which are not a direct result of the virus,” Thacker said. 

Thacker says those other symtoms include abdominal issues and cardiac dysfunction, including issues with the coronary arteries which can lead to coronary aneurysms in children.

Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome has been compared to another rare immune condition called the Kawasaki Disease.  Some symptoms are the same - rash, conjunctivitis, and swollen hands or feet.  But, this new syndrome is found in older children and even teens.

Thacker notes that some of the children with this new condition tested positive for COVID-19 or encountered someone with it. 

“A couple of these kids tested did test positive for the virus itself." Thacker said.  "One of these kids who didn’t test positive for the virus, we were able to send antibody testing on them and the antibody test came back positive."

Thacker notes prognosis for the syndrome is good, but it is too soon to predict long-term effects after recovery. She adds there is no definite treatment for the condition. 

Cases of the Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome have been found in several parts of the U.S and Europe. 

Thacker notes some symptoms to look for are persistent high fever, significant abdominal pains with vomiting and diarrhea.  She says some also experience conjunctivitis, loss of appetite, sore throat and dizziness.