What You Need to Know About Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome – PIMS

We have been sheltering at home and following the recommendations of social distancing, handwashing and wearing a mask when we have to go out.  The good news in our area is the dropping mortality and hospitalization rates of COVID patients.  There is a new concern, however, for our children – Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome or PIMS.

PIMS is a very rare syndrome similar to Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome, which most of you have never heard about.  The medical community and Harmony Pediatrics have heard, diagnosed, and treated children with Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome. We are aware of the signs and symptoms and can treat these entities. While extremely rare, about 100 children have been affected with PIMS related to COVID 19. The syndrome is thought to be a post-viral process, happening weeks after infection with COVID 19.  The majority of patients with PIMS are COVID-antigen negative, but antibody positive or have a history of close contact with a COVID-positive patient

Children with PIMS look sick.  They have had more than 3 days of fever greater than 101, and may have symptoms that include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, rash, red eyes, swollen hands or red cracked lips.   Younger children may not want to drink.  Few patients actually have the respiratory symptoms of COVID 19 that we see in adults.

Our concern is the syndrome may affect heart function requiring hospitalization and ICU care. The  majority of children do well with this syndrome but they need special attention and supportive care.  Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome is new. We are watching this very carefully and scientists around the world are working hard to understand this syndrome and how best to treat it. 

Until then, we want to reassure parents that most children are not affected by the coronavirus, and reports of children who become seriously ill remain rare and unusual cases. Many children have red eyes, or rash or diarrhea without fever or looking ill.  These children do not have PIMS.  What should parents do?  If you are concerned, contact Harmony Pediatrics.  We can set up a telehealth visit and can evaluate your child and answer all your questions.