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7 Wisconsin Children May Have Syndrome Associated With COVID-19

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Chuck Quirmbach
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Children's Wisconsin officials say its team has treated the first suspected cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, which is believed to be linked to COVID-19.

Children's Wisconsin officials say its team has treated the first suspected cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) in the state. It's still unclear what causes the syndrome, but many kids who get it had the virus that causes COVID-19.

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According to chief medical officer Dr. Mike Gutzeit, since April, the hospital has treated seven children, five of whom have been discharged. Two children remain hospitalized and are in good condition.

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Gutzeit says MIS-C is very new and much remains to be learned. He says blood tests show impacts in one or more organ systems, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, brain, and blood vessels.

Its symptoms appear to be similar to a known rare disease called Kawasaki disease.

"We're taking a conservative approach and are therefore reporting all possible cases in order to gather as much information as possible. This will help us and other health care experts to determine risk factors and the best clinical course of action," Gutzeit says.

Cases of MIS-C have been identified in other states and countries. Gutzeit says some kids show evidence of current or recent COVID-19 infection or exposure.

Of the cases investigated in Wisconsin, Gutzeit says, "Two tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, two tested negative. Two are pending results and one has not been tested."

He says symptoms range from a persistent fever, abdominal pain related to vomiting and diarrhea, red eyes, rash, trouble breathing, changes in behavior, lethargy, and a generally very ill appearance.

"Parents know their children best," Gutzeit says.

He urges families not to delay reaching out to their pediatrician or family doctor if their child has symptoms.

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