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Mom has stark warning for parents after 5-year-old contracts rare Coronavirus-related disease

Tara Copeland's 5-year-old daughter, Peyton became sick and developed rashes 3 weeks after recovering from Coronavirus.

Mom has stark warning for parents after 5-year-old contracts rare Coronavirus-related disease
Woman holding hands with young girl in hospital - stock photo/ Getty Images

A Texas mother is warning parents to look out for a potentially life-threatening, Coronavirus-related disease in children after her daughter ended up on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. Tara Copeland's 5-year-old daughter, Peyton, was diagnosed with multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). It started after Tara Copeland and her husband contracted Coronavirus, following which the couple's five children also started showing symptoms. The couple took her to a doctor at an urgent care clinic and was treated for strep throat but her condition got worse and her symptoms grew stronger, reported Good Morning America. They started to see various side effects on her. "By the night of the 27th she came down with a really bad rash and by this time her lips were swollen, her eyes were bloodshot and her face was starting to swell," she said of Peyton. "She still had a horrible headache and stomachache and kept waking up in pain." 


Peyton was taken to the emergency room at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, where they diagnosed her with MIS-C. Tara Copeland had never heard of the condition before. The doctors told her that MIS-C caused different body parts like the heart, lungs, brain, skin, eyes, and kidneys can become inflamed and it only happened in children. "They tested her for COVID-19 and said she was negative for COVID but she was positive for antibodies, and they started doing more lab work and figured out she probably had MIS-C," said Copeland. "By that night she was in the ICU and about 4 p.m. the next day she was put on a ventilator." Dr. Nicholas Rister, an infectious disease specialist at Cook Children's Hospital, them the condition was spotted in children who had the virus. The doctors are still unsure about the disease's link to Coronavirus. "It's frustrating because we don't know the exact link to why is Coronavirus doing this in particular," said Rister. "What we've seen previously with other infections in children, and in adults too, your immune system gets really revved up, and starts driving inflammation, which normally isn't bad because that's how your body drives off infections."


"The problem with these post-infection inflammation syndromes is that you're post the infection so these kids have already had Coronavirus and they've either recovered from it or they've had very mild symptoms, but now for some reason, their immune system gets highly turned on, and that's where you start to see the fevers, the rashes, the irritability," he said. Peyton's condition was worsening and she was having trouble breathing. She was also on the border of losing consciousness. Peyton was put on a ventilator for two days and given oxygen. The five-year-old couldn't eat so they fitted her with a feeding tube. Tara Copeland believes her daughter could have gained valuable time had she known about the disease beforehand. "If I had known and been aware of [MIS-C], I might have just gone straight to the hospital instead of to urgent care," said Copeland. "I didn't know that it existed or the symptoms and because she had a positive strep test, I just thought okay she has strep."


ABC News reported that there were 200 confirmed cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome across 19 states and Washington, D.C in May. CDC said a similar multisystem inflammatory syndrome was spotted in adults, known as MIS-A. Dr. Nicholas Rister is urging parents to keep an eye out for symptoms irrespective of whether they have been tested for the virus. Rister says the symptoms occur within a month of contracting Coronavirus and it's important to seek treatment for MIS-C as early as possible. He lists stomachache, fever, rash, and headache as common symptoms of MIS-C. "If there have been family members with COVID and then weeks later a child is acting sick, then it's something that needs to be considered," said Rister. He urges parents of children to get them checked if they develop symptoms as these symptoms are common and often brushed under the carpet. Thankfully for Tara Copeland, her daughter hasn't suffered any permanent damage.

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