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COVID-19: Racing to Treat a New Mystery Syndrome

COVID-19: Racing to Treat a New Mystery Syndrome

U.S., Dr. Michael Bell and his team caring for patients with COVID-19. Just as Bell predicted, he has treated over 275 kids and young adults with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and about 20 of those needed critical care.

It didn’t end there. In late March, Bell and his team started caring for a few children suffering from a new mystery syndrome. They had high fever, cracked lips, a rash similar to measles or chicken pox and swollen lymph nodes. “I think they were seeing it in New York City and the UK, but they were so busy being underwater that they couldn’t actually say it out loud,” he says. “We started hearing about it, and we were a little less inundated with patients so that we could actually pay attention to what’s going on.”

Bell runs through several names the disease has been called before the medical community settled on multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children. “It’s had several different names,” he says. “It’ll change tomorrow probably,” he adds, sarcastically.

Bell’s patients with MIS-C fall into one of these categories: positive for COVID-19, positive for antibodies due to a delayed reaction from the virus or negative for both the antibodies and the virus.

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