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Rare disease affecting children could be linked to COVID-19, doctors warn

It's called Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome. Although it's extremely rare, doctors say it can be very serious, and could lead to death.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new rare disease that affects children could be linked to COVID-19, medical experts say. 

This rare disease is called pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome and doctors believe it could be connected to coronavirus. The good news is doctors haven't seen any large outbreaks of this illness at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, at least not yet.

Doctors say they want to keep it that way by educating parents on how to recognize the signs early. The name says it all, and doctors say it can impact kids and multiple organs at once. 

"It can affect the kidneys, heart, liver and bone marrow," said Dr. Amina Ahmed. 

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This disease is similar to Kawasaki Disease, which was first reported in early March throughout areas of the United Kingdom. Now, this new form of the illness has made its way to the United States. 

Here's what doctors say you should look for:

"Fever for five days, they have red eyes or swollen hands that are red, or lips that are cracked or peeling, or swollen lymph glands," Dr. Ahmed said. 

Although the disease is rare, doctor say can it be serious. So far, one child in the UK has died. Another 8-year-old boy in New York went into cardiac arrest but survived. 

"Right away, just started applying CPR on Jayden. At that point I grabbed the phone and called 911," said the boy's mother. 

Health experts are now monitoring trends to see if and how this illness may be linked to COVID-19.

“The peak time of presentation is a few weeks lagging behind the coronavirus peaks that we’re seeing in different places which is leading us to believe it’s more of a immune response than a direct effect from the virus itself.Briana
In cases so far it seem most children with this illness do eventually recover with support of professional care," said Dr. Deepika Thacker with the DuPont Hospital for Children.