Possible case of childhood disease linked to COVID-19 discovered in Meck County

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While COVID-19 has been especially deadly to the elderly, doctors are warning parents that children need to be careful too.

For months, one of the only positive takeaways from the virus was that it did not seem to be a threat to children, but there is troubling new data that now suggests not even the young are completely safe.

Local doctors are sounding the alarm about a new disease linked to the coronavirus that has already taken the lives of several children -- and they’re now saying a similar case of Kawasaki disease may be in Mecklenburg County.

>> Have questions about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Carolinas? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak -- CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

Atrium is monitoring the child.

“We expect more cases,” said Dr. Amina Ahmed, pediatrician with Levine Children Hospital. “We’re always being more vigilant for more cases. We’re having multiple conversations with primary care providers to discuss looking for these signs that would indicate atypical or incomplete Kawasaki disease.”

The symptoms are similar to a disease called Kawasaki Disease, and include:

  • Fever above 101 degrees that doesn’t respond to medication for several days
  • Rash and/or peeling skin, often between the chest and legs and near the genitals, and later on the fingers and toes
  • Swelling and redness in hands and bottoms of feet, followed by sloughing of skin of hands and feet
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Enlarged glands, especially in the neck
  • Irritated throat, inner mouth, and lips
  • Swollen, bright red “strawberry tongue”
  • Joint pain
  • Stomach trouble, with diarrhea and vomiting

“These kids will have fever for five days and then, they’ll have red eyes or swollen hands that are red or lips that are affected, that are cracked and peeling -- or a rash,” Ahmed said.

The mayor of New York City announced Wednesday that 102 children were believed to be suffering from a pediatric multi-inflammatory syndrome linked to the coronavirus.

“More recently, this inflammatory disorder has been described and it initially was described in England and now it’s in the U.S., as well,” Ahmed said.

Channel 9 learned there is a single case in the county with the parameters that line up with the disease.

Ahmed and other doctors spoke Wednesday about the affect COVID-19 has on children and how Atrium Health and Levine’s have responded.

“Some of these kids were diagnosed with COVID early on,” Ahmed said. “Some were negative and then tested positive later, so they weren’t identified as COVID but regardless, it’s a manifestation of a severe disease which appears to be COVID disease in children.”

Not much more information has been released at this point, only that the illness is hard to track because there are still so many unknowns surrounding the disease.

Doctors at Levine Childrens Hospital told Channel 9 that they’re ready.

Atrium has tested 2,000 for COVID-19

  • 80 were positive
  • 29 are being treated from home

Fourteen states have also reported similar cases.

>>In the video at the top of the page, you’ll hear a breakdown of the mysterious illness and the ways local doctors are preparing to handle the threat.