Children's Mercy: Inflammatory disease in young patients 'very rare'

Posted at 11:40 AM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 17:45:02-04

O'FALLON, Mo. — A rare inflammatory syndrome affecting some children with the coronavirus has appeared in a small number of cases at Missouri hospitals.

A spokeswoman for Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City said the hospital is currently treating one patient for pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a condition she called "very rare."

The St. Louis Children's Hospital has treated “a few” children with the coronavirus and symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease, according to a spokeswoman for the hospital.

She didn't have information on the exact number, or details about their conditions.

Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said during a press conference on Wednesday that the syndrome is an “autoimmune reaction.” The reaction has been seen, according to Williams, in other diseases, such as Kawasaki, which causes inflammation.

“It's basically where your body reacts to, it reacts to an antigen and starts attacking itself,” Williams said.

There is no cure, however, Williams said that it is treated by trying to “support the body.”

The coronavirus is less common and less deadly in children than in adults. But two young children and a teenager with COVID-19 who also showed symptoms of Kawasaki disease have died in New York state.