'Trust your instincts': Mother shares message to parents about Kawasaki disease

Once considered a less vulnerable age group, more hospitals are reporting children being treated with pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome that's associated with COVID-19.

The mysterious illness has symptoms that mimic that of Kawasaki disease or toxic shock.

Mindi Herman's then 6-month-old son experienced that first hand.

"He did develop this global rash on his body," said Herman who lives in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. "Josh's platelets were in the millions. I was in touch with the doctor, and at the time it was an extremely rare disease. She recognized it and said, 'I think it's Kawasaki disease.'

Herman's son was later diagnosed with the disease.

RELATED: More hospitals reporting rare syndrome in kids, possibly linked to COVID-19
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A growing number of similar cases of this mysterious illness, including one death, have been reported in the U.S. and Europe.

It was uncommon in 1987, but Kawasaki disease was known to follow viral infections. Today, the number of children suffering from symptoms mimicking the disease are climbing.

New numbers include 150 cases nationwide. The CDC set to issue a warning this week.

Locally, doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, and Nemours DuPont Hospital have all treated several kids with the syndrome recently.

The symptoms include high fever, rash, redness to eyes and lips, and if not caught quickly it can prove deadly.

"It can lead to inflammation all over the body, in the heart, kidneys, the blood vessels," said Dr. Emily Souder, the attending physician for pediatrics infectious diseases at St. Christophers.

As pediatricians are now urging parents to eye potential symptoms, Herman says to trust your instincts.

"If I had just dismissed that Friday visit as tonsillitis, and was just that mom that was like, 'Ok he has tonsillitis, I don't want want to bother the doctor.' No, call on that phone, bother that doctor, if you suspect something is bigger than what you can handle, call that doctor," she said.


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