Memorial Health begins to see mysterious illness related to COVID-19 in children

Memorial Health begins to see mysterious illness related to COVID-19 in children

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Children across the country are being impacted by a mysterious rare disease believed to be linked to the coronavirus.

It’s something doctors at Memorial Health say they have seen here locally.

“We believe there has been a few cases of this locally related to children who were either exposed or infected with COVID 19 and then subsequently developed this concern for what looks like Kawasaki’s disease,” said Dr. Stephen Thacker, Associate Chief Medical Officer at Memorial Health.

It’s being called Multi-System Inflammatory Disease associated with COVID-19. Doctors say it’s so new they are still figuring out what it is, why it’s presenting now and how it works, but it can make children very sick.

“They are usually having fevers that go unchecked for many days, they may have swelling, they may have rashes on their body and they may have difficulty with how their heart is functioning and how easy it is for them to breathe,” described Dr. Thacker. “These would all be things that would be very worrisome to a parent that would lead to them bring their child to care and in most cases to an emergency department or being admitted to a hospital.”

Dr. Thacker focuses on pediatric Infectious diseases and says the best defense against this new illness is social distancing, masking and good hand hygiene. He has spoken with other area doctors and they are on the lookout, but say this disease is rare.

“It is scary to hear about these things and the potential for your child, but it is still very rare,” explained Dr. Stephen Thacker. “And I feel that there is a clear genetic risk related to it so not every child is going to get infected with COVID-19 and have this outcome.”

Dr. Thacker says the cases we have seen locally were treated for Kawasaki’s disease and the children have improved and are recovering at home.

While there is still a lot to learn about this disease, doctors say if you see symptoms you need to contact your primary care physician.

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