WXXI AM News

COVID-19 linked syndrome strikes children

May 14, 2020

Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS) is a new illness associated with COVID-19 that doctors in Rochester are trying to understand.

There have been more than 100 cases of PMIS in New York state, mainly pre-teens and younger children.

“We’re working with multiple federal and state agencies to document and try to identify all the symptoms and signs that bring kids to us with PMIS,” said Dr. Patrick Brophy from the University of Rochester Medical Center.

So far, the symptoms include inflammation of the skin, eyes, blood vessels and heart, as well as what doctors call toxic shock which could be deadly. Dr. Brenda Tesini, who studies infectious diseases at Strong Memorial Hospital, said early results about the syndrome show it has a unique connection to the coronavirus.

“What we know about PMIS is that it actually seems to happen after the infection has resolved,” said Tesini.

This means patients show little or no signs of coronavirus prior to getting PMIS, and tests often say they don’t have coronavirus anymore once they have PMIS.

Tesini said PMIS often appears after children have caught and beat the coronavirus, so the best way to keep kids from having this syndrome is to keep them as far away from the virus as possible.

“Still continue to maintain social distancing, and masking and all of these measures that have helped keep our rates of covid infections in Monroe County and the Finger Lakes region really fairly low,” said Tesini.

Brophy said parents should remain vigilant about their child’s health by making sure they visit the doctor regularly and get vaccinations. He said there’s been a sharp decline in both since the pandemic hit. He doesn’t want that fear to affect parents in the Finger Lakes region. That’s why he wants parents to know that URMC doctors are doing all they can to keep their patients safe. 

“The children’s hospital is one of the safest places to be right now because we are so aware of this,” said Brophy. “And our clinics are doing the same thing. So I’m pretty confident we’ll have good safe opportunities for kids to come and get care.” 

“The children’s hospital is one of the safest places to be right now because we are so aware of this,” said Brophy. “And our clinics are doing the same thing. So I’m pretty confident we’ll have good safe opportunities for kids to come and get care.”

Brophy said parents should remain vigilant about their child’s health by making sure they visit the doctor