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Children's Hospital LA Is Among Those Reporting Ties Between Patients With Inflammatory Disease And COVID-19

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Courtesy of Children's Hospital Los Angeles
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Across the country, doctors are reporting cases of children with a rare inflammatory condition that is linked to the coronavirus.

The illness, known as Pediatric Inflammatory Multi-System Syndrome (PIMS), is similar to a disorder known as Kawasaki Disease. Symptoms include high fever, rashes and inflammation that can affect organs, including the heart.

The doctors at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have treated 16 patients who've exhibited symptoms consistent with this condition since April. Four of them also tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, meaning they had the coronavirus before developing PIMS, said Dr. Jackie Szmuszkovicz. The pediatric cardiologist, who is a Kawasaki disease specialist, told us:

“What we’re learning is that the manifestations of the PIMS can range broadly. It can be a syndrome similar to Kawasaki disease, all the way to a syndrome that is more similar to toxic shock syndrome with some children. The concern is that it can cause coronary artery enlargement or aneurysms in children.”

Dr. Szmuszkovicz says CHLA research teams are working to figure out why these children are getting sick. Of the four children who had been exposed to the coronavirus, three of them have been discharged home and one is in critical condition.
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