300 patients at UPMC Children’s Hospital tested for deadly illness possibly linked to COVID-19

Growing concern about deadly illness impacting children in rare cases

PITTSBURGH — There is growing concern about an inflammatory syndrome that is impacting children.

The illness has several symptoms from fever to rash and abdominal pain, and it could be connected to COVID-19.

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Doctors at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh have tested 300 children for the coronavirus so far, but only three have tested positive. They've only kept one child who tested positive for a few nights, and all the children have fully recovered and are doing well.

Dr. Terence Dermody, chair of pediatrics for Children’s Hospital, told Channel 11 the illness is mild in children and most won’t experience severe symptoms and that in rare cases, some children who do contract the coronavirus are also being diagnosed with Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome.

The symptoms of PMIS are fever, rash, red eyes or hyperactive inflammation in the child's arteries, and it can be fatal if it's not found early enough.

"There have been a few fatalities in New York City with pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome. It's three or four cases that I’m aware of in New York City,” Dermody said.

If it's diagnosed early, Dermody told Channel 11 it can be treated and parents don't have anything to worry about.

However, the biggest issue doctors are facing right now deals with children with underlying health conditions whose parents have stopped keeping their routine appointments.

"We worry about many kids with asthma, with diabetes, with underlying heart disease or cancer that need our care – and we'd like to see them in our facility,” Dermody said.

If your child is experiencing symptoms that you haven’t seen before or concern you, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

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