Health officials: Children being affected by Kawasaki-like disease linked to COVID-19

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Health officials say children in the U.S. are falling ill with an inflammatory disease that could be linked to COVID-19. The symptoms are similar to Kawasaki disease.

Officials are calling it Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children. They'll have symptoms like prolonged fever, rash, red eyes, cracked lips, and abdominal pain.

"Whether or not we'll see a lot of these cases in Texas or not is really unclear," said Dr. Eyal Muscal, Chief of Rheumatology at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Muscal says we won't know more until Texas opens up more.

Daycare Centers have been given the green light to open and are taking extra precautions. At the Children's Center at First Presbyterian Church, Director Lauren Nash says they have received calls from concerned parents.

"Some of them are kind of saying we absolutely want to be back. We can't wait to be back with you guys, but we're going to wait until maybe the end of summer or we're going to give it a week or two," said Nash

Officials say children getting MIS-C is rare, but any child with it has also tested positive for COVID-19 or had a positive antibody test.

"In Brazos Valley we have such a low incident of COVID, the likelihood is extremely rare," said Dr. Daniel Ransom, the Division Director of Pediatrics at Baylor Scott & White.

Dr. Ransom says parents still need to be able to recognize the symptoms and take precautions.

"We need to be smart. People need to be wearing masks in public," said Ransom.

Dr. Muscal says the average age of kids showing MIS-C is around eight years old.

He says there only a handful of cases across Texas.