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Cases of rare condition in kids caused by COVID-19 reported in Arizona

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

PHOENIX — Cases of a rare and potentially life-threatening condition that children are getting after being exposed to COVID-19 are now being reported in Arizona.

It’s called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C.

“It is very rare, but we are seeing it,” said Dr. Josh Koch, division director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “It seems to occur somewhere between 3 to 6 weeks after COVID infection.”

The disease can also surface among children who’ve been around someone with COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some of the symptoms are fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue.

Koch said this disease can be “very dangerous and life-threatening.” He encourages parents to seek medical care for their children right away if they experience any of these symptoms.

“The most dangerous thing about it is its effect on the heart and cardiovascular system,” he said. “Many of these patients have decreased function of their heart. They have lower blood pressures and they’re very, very inflamed.”

He said some of the outward signs that appear in children with this disease include red eyes and rashes.

“That’s basically the inflammation we can see on the outside of the body,” Koch explained. “That same inflammation is occurring on the inside of the body on the internal organs, and the organ that it seems to affect the most from a dangerous standpoint is the heart.”

Most children who get diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care, according to the CDC.

Koch said he’s also seeing similar results for children who come into Phoenix Children’s Hospital soon after they start experiencing symptoms.

“We are able to get them turned around pretty quickly,” he said.

In addition to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Banner Health hospitals in the Phoenix and Tucson areas have also reported cases of MIS-C.

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