McLeod Health prepares for coronavirus-related inflammatory syndrome in children

Local doctors prepare for possible cases of inflammatory syndrome in children

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - More than 150 cases in New York, 20 cases in D.C., and now one in North Carolina.

Multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children is getting a little closer to home, and that has one local hospital system making sure it’s prepared for whatever comes next.

“We were discussing our plans of preparedness for diagnosing and initial treatment for the children who present symptoms that seem suspicious,” said Dr. Alexander Gurfinkel, the director of Pediatric Medicine at McLeod Children’s Hospital.

McLeod’s Children’s Hospital saw its first case of coronavirus in an infant about three weeks ago. Fortunately, it was mild, and the hospital hasn’t seen too many other cases in children that needed to be admitted.

While the pediatric team continues to be on the lookout for COVID-19 in kids, they’re now on high-alert a condition called multi-system inflammatory syndrome, and it has often been compared symptomatically to Kawasaki disease.

“Some children and even young adults, could develop all the way up to four weeks after they initially contracted the virus, a condition similar to how some pretty serious pediatric illnesses present," said Gurfinkel.

Gurfinkel is encouraging parents to look out for certain symptoms like abdominal pain, fever, respiratory issues, confusion or sudden changes in behavior.

The hospital has come up with a potential treatment plan if they wind up seeing a case.

“They may require steroids, they may require anti-platelet drugs like aspirin, so it’s a very case by case basis as to what the right approach might be," said Gurfinkel.

Gurfinkel said the syndrome is very rare, but the progression can be very fast, so he’s advising parents to take any of the symptoms seriously.

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