PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — For the first time, the Florida Department of Health is releasing the number of pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome cases in the state. It's a COVID-19-related illness that only affects children.
So far, there have been 10 cases statewide with one in Palm Beach County.
"It is a relatively new phenomenon that has developed in a very small percentage of children that have either tested positive for COVID-19, either acutely ill with a nasal swab or has been infected with the virus in the past," Dr. Julie Konowitz with JFK Just for Kids Pediatrics said.
Konowitz said the COVID-19-related syndrome can affect multiple organs. The syndrome can appear three to four weeks after a COVID-19 infection. MIS-C itself only affects kids and is not contagious.
According to the health department, right now, there are a total of ten MIS-C cases in the state. The majority of the incidents have developed in Miami-Dade with five, one in Broward, and one case in Palm Beach County. The health department said the patient in Palm Beach County was a two-year-old boy.
"For a child to have had that diagnosis they have had to have a fever greater than 100.4 degrees for longer than 24 hours. They can present with abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rashes," Dr. Konowitz said.
Dr. Konowit explained there is no protocol or standard of care because MIS-C is so new. But children who are diagnosed are admitted to the hospital and cared for in the ICU. They're treated with IV steroids, plus what Dr. Konowitz calls, an IV IG.
"The IV IG is something that is used to treat Kawasaki disease presumably because of some of the similarities with Kawasaki and MIS-C that's what prompted pediatric intensives to try that treatment," she said.
The health department points out that children appear to be recovering better than adults from this syndrome.
The state is releasing updated numbers every Friday.
For information on the latest state cases, click here.