Nashville mother warns others as doctors see an increase of COVID-related illness in children

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — We’re seeing reports of more children diagnosed with a potentially deadly condition related to COVID-19, known as MIS-C.

According to the CDC, MIS-C, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, is a “condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.”

“His fever was just spiking every four hours, we were having to give him medicine, and then he started developing a rash on his arm,” said Amber Allen, whose 5-year-old son Matthew was diagnosed with MIS-C after showing symptoms.

Doctors in Middle Tennessee say they are seeing an increase in the number of cases of MIS-C.

“His feet and his knees and his hands were all swollen and I just knew something more was wrong,” remembers Allen, who spent five nights and six days at the Monroe Carrel Junior Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt with her son. “I just got scared and nervous because I was just like I don’t know what I’m getting myself into, I don’t know what’s going to happen and his health just started declining.” 

The rare condition is found in children after they have contracted COVID-19, but doctors say the alarming part is that children could exhibit asystematic symptoms, meaning some parents may not be on the lookout for MIS-C.

Thinking back to her time in the hospital, Allen said “I felt helpless, I couldn’t do anything to help him.”

Now back home and recovering, Allen said she is grateful her son made it through but wishes she had known more about MIS-C before going to the hospital.

Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Sophie Katz, said as of Thursday doctors are investigating 18 cases of MIS-C, eight of those happening within the last month.

“Earlier in the pandemic most of the MIS-C cases were in places like New York or New Jersey where they had seen the most COVID and now it seems to be spreading more throughout the country as more of the country is seeing higher cases of COVID,” said Dr. Katz.

According to the CDC, the cause of the condition is unknown, but doctors say there are ways to prevent it.

“Tt’s the same as trying not to get COVID basically, so do your best to stay home if you can, wash your hands, wear a mask if you go out in public, and limit social gatherings,” explained Dr. Katz.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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