PIMS Update: Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome

COVID19ImageWe have been sheltering at home and following the recommendations of social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask when we have to go out.  The good news is that we seem to be in a steady state as far as COVID19 infections go. There is a new concern, however, for our children – Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome or PIMS.

PIMS is a very rare syndrome similar to Kawaski Disease and Toxic Shock syndrome, which most of you have never heard about.  While extremely rare, about 100 children have been affected. The syndrome is thought to be a post-viral process, most likely related to COVID 19 The majority of patients with PIMS are COVID-antigen negative, but antibody positive or have a history of close contact with a COVID-positive patient

Children with PIMS look sick.  They have had a few days of fever greater than 101, and may have symptoms that include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, rash, red eyes, swollen hands or red cracked lips.   Younger children may not want to drink.  Few patients actually have the respiratory symptoms we see in adults.

Our concern is the syndrome may affect heart function requiring hospitalization and ICU care. The  majority of children do well with this syndrome but they need special attention and supportive care.  Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome is new. We are watching this very carefully and scientists around the world are working hard to understand this syndrome and how best to treat it. 

Until then, we want to reassure parents that most children are not affected by the coronavirus, and reports of children who become seriously ill remain rare and unusual cases. Many children have red eyes, or rash or diarrhea without fever or looking ill.  These children do not have PIMS.  What should parents do?  If you are concerned, contact your pediatrician.  We can set up a telehealth visit and we can evaluate your child and answer all your questions.

Read more from the AAP here.

About Lisa M. Asta, MD

Lisa M. Asta, M.D. is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is also a Media Representative (she has been interviewed for “Kids Health” on Health Radio, and quoted in Parenting Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times, among other publications). She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco and past pediatric chair at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Asta is also a writer whose fiction has appeared in Inkwell, Philadelphia Stories, Schuylkill, and Zeniada. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hippocrates, the San Jose Mercury News, and The New Physician Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to KQED public radio’s Perspectives series, and has written articles for Bay Area Parent, Valley Parent, Parents’ Press, and Parents Express, as well as online at WebMD.com, Rx.com, and MyLifePath.com. She wrote a chapter in The Field Guide to the Normal Newborn, ed. Gary Emmet, M.D. BabyCenter.com currently has two how-to videos for parents in production which feature Dr. Asta. For more on Dr. Asta’s writing, visit www.LMAsta.com
This entry was posted in 101, Children, COVID19, Medicine, Urgent Care, Wellness. Bookmark the permalink.

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