Local doctor talks rare illness amid COVID-19

Published 3:25 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2020

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A recent study has shown that a new rare illness could be linked to the COVID-19 virus in children, but local pediatrician Dr. Bhagwan Bang wants to reassure parents not to worry.

“At the onset of Coronavirus Pandemic, it appeared that children are spared from this virus,” Bang said. “However, last week a more rare, mysterious illness dubbed as ‘Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome or (PIMS)’ has been linked to COVID-19 virus.”

Bang said PMIS is similar in some ways to well-known Kawasaki Disease.

“Kawasaki Disease, which is more seasonal, mainly occurring winter and spring, generally affects younger children less than 5 years of age,” Bang said. “On the other hand, PMIS can affect various ages from infant to teenager, but is more common in children older than 5 years of age.”

  • Parents need to watch mainly for prolonged fever of more than four to five days, rash, abdominal pain with GI symptoms, chest pain, increased heart rate, lethargy, confusion, and irritability that could be symptoms of this syndrome.

“Unlike COVID-19, PMIS is not contagious and is treatable with an expected full recovery,” Bang said. “PMIS appears to be a delayed manifestation of COVID-19 infection, due to overdrive of the immune system. My aim is not to scare parents and cause them to rush to the physician’s office or ER for every fever, but just to inform parents and educate them to be aware of it.”

Dr. Bang said anyone with questions about the rare illness should contact their primary care physician.