HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – Two cases of children with multisystem inflammatory illness believed to be linked to COVID-19 have been reported in South Florida.
They are being treated at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood.
“We’ve had a few cases here, they’ve all been treated and they’ve all done remarkably well,” said Dr. Ronald Ford, Chief Medical Officer at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
Memorial Healthcare System said they have set up a multidisciplinary team to treat children who develop the illness and have been asked to be part of the national registry.
In South Florida, two cases have been reported at Holtz Children’s Hospital and another two at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
Even though we’re hearing about six local cases in just the past few days Dr. Marcos Mestry from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital stresses it’s a rare inflammatory condition.
“Which can cause Symptoms such as redness of the eyes, enlargement of a lymph node, typically in the neck area, rash, swelling of the hands and feet,” said Dr. Mestry.
Dr. Ford said other symptoms are similar to Kawasaki Disease.
“The most consistent symptom is a high fever, usually for four or more days. Other symptoms are pretty variable. Some kids have abdominal pain and vomiting, that’s one of the more common symptoms, some kids will have a rash, red eyes. Some will just feel like they have a bad flu,” said Ford.
The doctors said that of the kids who contract it, many have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies or have had some type of exposure to the virus.
“The children typically have a course where they had an infection of COVID-19 about three to four weeks prior to the exhibiting some of these illnesses. The problem is not many people know if they had the infection three or four weeks ago. It may have been asymptotic at that point,” said Dr. Mestry.
As frightening as the disease sounds, the doctors said most kids respond well to treatment.
“The outcomes for these patients has been exceptionally positive and most go on to full recovery. Again it’s a very rare illness to begin with,” said Dr. Ford.
Testing for coronavirus in children is available at CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines. Tests will be done on children of all ages who are symptomatic or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or who previously tested positive and need to be re-tested.
Starting June 9, criteria will further expand to include all children regardless of exposure or symptoms.
Appointments for children will be available Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Parents must register each child separately and bring one child at a time. Parents can also get tested during their child’s appointment, as long as they register in advance. To register, call 954-276-4680 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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