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A 13-year-old in the U.K. is being tested for coronavirus antibodies after she developed a widespread rash, severe pain and inflamed organs, her mother told South West News Service (SWNS).
Grace Havens, who was diagnosed with Henoch-Schonlein Purpura, first complained of stomach issues in February.
“I personally believe COVID-19 is responsible for the severity of it,” Rachel Havens, the teen’s mom, told SWNS. “It won’t change anything for Grace – at the end of the day, I believe she had it, but it’s not going to change anything because we are where we are.”
Health officials in 13 countries are investigating a spate of illnesses popping up in children that they believe is potentially linked to the novel coronavirus. It’s been compared to a Kawasaki disease-like syndrome, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue an advisory on the illness dubbed Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19.
It can cause areas of the body to become inflamed including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Other symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, fatigue, trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake, and bluish lips or face.
Most children who contract the illness will require hospital care. There have been several fatalities as a result of the illness, but the exact origin remains unknown.
“We do not yet know what causes MIS-C,” the health agency said. “However, we know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.”
In Havens’ case, doctors at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital reportedly suspected a case of appendicitis, but when that was determined not to be the case, she was sent home, SWNS reported. On March 5, she returned to the hospital, where she remained for four weeks before being transferred to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children for an additional three-week stay, according to the report.
She is now dealing with a kidney condition but has been discharged to continue recovering at home.
“While we are told the majority of children will be unharmed by COVID-19, there appears to be a number who are randomly but severely affected,” her mom told SWNS. “This is why I felt we should share our daughter’s story, with the aim of raising awareness in the hope that as science progresses, less lives will be affected.”
On Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo cited the new illnesses striking in children as a reason for moving summer school to remote learning and said it was too early to decide on what to do with summer camps as well as the fall semester. The state is currently investigating 157 cases of the illness.