Mysterious illness linked to COVID-19 in kids reported to Texas health officials

Investigations

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Texas Department of State Health Services said they have been notified of a few suspected cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), but none of those cases have been confirmed. 

When asked how many cases and where, Communications Specialist Lyndsey Rosales said, “… we only share information for confirmed cases.”

Four patients have been treated at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth for what doctors believe is the inflammatory illness linked to COVID-19. The hospital said the children range in age from 6 to 14. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the condition is where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

“We do not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, we know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care,” explained the CDC in information included for parents. 

Jaci Duffina has been taking calls and offering support. She’s understands the anxiety. Her son Nickolas was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease, which has symptoms that mimic this rare inflammatory syndrome.

“I know what they’re going through, and you know all I can say is we pray for them and we’re there, and you know anybody across the United States, there are support volunteers here willing to listen and shoulders to cry on, because we’ve been there,” said Duffina. “I mean it may have been 20 years ago, but I was there and there’s a lot of families who have dealt with this throughout the nation and all we want to do is help.”

Duffina remembers the high temperature, rash and skin peeling off her son’s fingers and toes, “By the time he was diagnosed he had lost the ability to walk anymore.”

Duffina said at the time there weren’t any resources and not a lot of information about the disease. So, she created the Central Texas Kawasaki Disease Support Group

“Nickolas was misdiagnosed 3 times and before we found out for sure,” Duffina explained “Trust your instincts. You know your child better than anybody else does, and if you think something’s wrong and you disagree with the doctors go back find another doctor. Find someone who will listen to you.”

The CDC said contact your doctor if your child is showing symptoms including:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Neck pain
  • Rash
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Feeling extra tired

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