8-year-old battles rare condition linked to coronavirus

Local

SAN DIEGO — An eight-year-old child at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is battling a rare and serious condition associated with COVID-19.

“He started with just fever,” Leo Cortes said about his son Eduardo. “Everything was really bad….for 3-4 days.”

Cortes and his wife Rosa say their son was admitted to Rady Children’s last Saturday after coming down with a fever that reached 106.

“When I see on my son, it was something scary for me,” Cortes said.

Doctors then discovered Eduardo had a rare disease called multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C.

Dr. Adriana Tremoulet is an infectious disease expert and says the boy had a fairly typical case.

“He came in with about four days of fever,” Tremoulet said. “He also had some red eyes, he had swelling of his neck and some severe neck pain, as well as severe abdominal pain and vomiting. And the key part to the story was that his parents had had COVID about a month before – and that’s typical of this illness.”

Rosa says she got her first vaccine dose in late July, then about a week later, she got COVID.  Eduardo later got a fever, but the parents say, unfortunately, they didn’t test their son for COVID.

As his condition got worse, they got him to Rady Children’s. But now he is now improving, likely to be released in the next week.

His father has a message to other families about getting vaccinated.

“It’s to do it now,” he said. “We don’t have to wait another day, we don’t have to wait to see our child in the hospital. It’s really, really hard. It already happened to me. I don’t want it to happen to anybody else, especially for the kids.”

Dr. Tremoulet says MIS-C was first identified in April 2020, shortly after the pandemic started.

Rady Children’s has treated about 80 cases, with none being deadly. Among 4,000 cases in the U.S., around 3% have been deadly.

“We’re still trying to understand the long-term consequences of this disease,” Tremoulet said. “We do know most children do very well after leaving the hospital.”

Doctors say the disease mostly affects children eight to 14 year olds about two to six weeks after being exposed to COVID.

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