A mysterious illness related to COVID-19 is beginning to show up in Tennessee, according to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
It’s still very rare. Tennessee has seen fewer than 10 cases of what’s known as multi-inflammatory syndrome in children. That’s out of 29,000 cases of COVID-19 in Tennesseans 20 and younger. But the medical center has treated five children since mid-July.
Symptoms usually develop several weeks after recovering from COVID-19 and include a myriad of conditions ranging from abdominal pain to bloodshot eyes.
Dr. Ritu Banerjee, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt, says there appears to be a strong connection between COVID-19 and multi-inflammatory syndrome in children, “but what we don’t understand is why, though we think it is an inflammatory response.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 children have died from the condition nationwide out of nearly 800 cases. Banerjee says the most effective way to deal with the syndrome is preventing COVID-19 in the first place through masks and social distance.