COVID-19 Update (May 13, 2020)
Dear Lovenheim Pediatric Families,
We have been spending the last couple of months sheltering at home and following the recommendations of social distancing, handwashing and wearing a mask when we must go out. The good news in our area is the dropping mortality and hospitalization rates of COVID patients. There is a new concern, however, for our children – Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome or PIMS.
PIMS is a rare syndrome that is similar to Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome. Most of you have never heard about these illnesses. While extremely rare, over 100 children in the tri-state area have been affected. The syndrome is thought to be a post-viral process, most likely related to COVID-19. Most patients with PIMS are COVID-antigen negative, but antibody positive or have a history of close contact with a COVID-positive patient.
Children with PIMS look sick. They have had a few days of fever greater than 101 degrees and may have symptoms that include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, rash, red eyes, swollen hands or red, cracked lips. Younger children may not want to drink. Few patients have the respiratory symptoms we see in adults.
Our concern is the syndrome may affect heart function requiring hospitalization and ICU care. Most children do well with this syndrome, but they need special attention and supportive care.
Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome is new. We are watching this very carefully and scientists around the world are working hard to understand this syndrome and how best to treat it. The most positive news I can share is that it appears that most typical treatments that we have used in the past for similar conditions are working for PIMS.
Until then, we want to reassure parents that most children are not severely affected by the coronavirus, and reports of children who become seriously ill remain rare and unusual. Many children have red eyes, rash or diarrhea without fever or looking ill. These children do not have PIMS.
What should parents do? If you are concerned, contact Lovenheim Pediatrics. We can set up a telehealth visit to evaluate your child and answer all your questions.