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Experts monitoring children in Atlanta for mysterious illness

According to a Children's Healthcare of Atlanta spokesperson, a team of infectious disease experts are investigating if any association might exist to coronavirus.

ATLANTA — A team of infectious disease and cardiology experts in Atlanta are monitoring a small group of children to see if there’s any link to a mysterious illness and COVID-19.

Known as pediatric multi-inflammatory syndrome, nearly 100 kids and teenagers across the nation have developed the rare complication. It's believed three children have died from the new illness, with two other deaths being investigated for possible links to the sickness.

According to a spokesperson for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, experts are "evaluating a very small number of cases of children exhibiting Kawasaki-like symptoms and inflammation to determine if those patients may have also had COVID-19 and to investigate if any association might exist."

The new mystery illness believed to be related to COVID-19 is causing inflammation in the body and heart of children and teens.

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The symptoms can look like other commonly known inflammatory disease like Toxic Shock Syndrome and Kawasaki Disease; the latter of which is also rare and mainly affects children age five or younger.

“Children are getting severe abdominal pain, possible a bright red rash, possible red eyes, like a pink eye or irritated eyes," said Dr. Sujatha Reddy.

Other symptoms include fever, swollen neck glands, swelling of the hands and feet and cracked lips. The CDC is working on criteria that can be used nationwide for the new disease.

“And with a lot of things with COVID19, we’re just now learning about this," said Reddy.

According to NBC News, medical experts are finding it difficult to know which kids are most at risk of developing these severe complications.

While Children's healthcare officials said they couldn't confirm if any of the patients they're currently monitoring do indeed have pediatric multi-inflammatory syndrome, a spokesperson said "Children’s physician specialists want to stress that this appears to be a rare finding with low prevalence in the community. Children’s has specialized pediatric expertise in treating these conditions, whether or not they are caused by COVID-19."

Their experts added if a child develops signs of illness such as high fever, rash, red eyes, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain or swelling of the face, hands or feet, families should contact their doctor or visit the emergency department as with any cause. 

1Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus.  We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.  

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.

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