- The World Health Organization is calling on medical workers to report cases of a newly-identified inflammation condition affecting children and adolescents that appears to be linked to the coronavirus.
- The illness, called “multi-system inflammatory syndrome,” is similar to toxic shock syndrome, requires intensive care and is sometimes fatal.
- Symptoms include a rash, heart problems, problems with blood coagulation, or acute vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a medical brief warning doctors about a newly-recognized condition linked to the coronavirus that affects children and adolescents.
Known as “multisystem inflammatory syndrome,” the illness has reportedly caused organ failure and shock in children and adolescents and testing suggests it’s related to COVID-19.
Preliminary case reports have defined the illness in those aged 0-19 who may have been exposed to coronavirus. Symptoms include rash, high fever for more than 3 days, fatigue and confusion, vomiting, stomach pain, and/or diarrhea.
Other researchers have proposed the name “Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporarily Associated with SARS-CoV-2,” or PIMS-TS for short, to describe the new condition.
Medical workers are urged to submit any relevant case data online to help doctors and researchers better identify and understand the illness, determine what causes it, and develop treatments.
The brief, released May 15, follows a similar announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also calling for medical workers to report any symptoms of the inflammatory syndrome to help add to the limited data available.
The WHO has also noted that symptoms of this newly-identified syndrome are similar to Kawasaki disease, a rare disease that affects children under 5 years old, causing inflammation in the arterial walls.
Although much is still unknown about the syndrome, it’s still believed to be rare even in children exposed to coronavirus — at least 100 children worldwide have been recently been diagnosed with the illness, Business Insider previously reported.
In New York City, 38 children have been diagnosed with PIMS-TS and three have died.
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It’s unclear if this particular illness also affects adults.
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