Cases of rare inflammatory disease in children are piling up in the corona pandemic. The syndrome hit 14-year-old Jack McMorrow from New York particularly hard.
“He could definitely have died,” his doctor says about him. Jack McMorrow, a 14-year-old boy from New York, has had a coronavirus infection – and a mysterious inflammatory disease in children that may be linked to Sars-Cov-2. The “pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (MIS-C) has occurred significantly more frequently since the beginning of the corona crisis than before the pandemic. Experts suspect that it is triggered by an overreaction of the body’s immune system to the virus. Instead of protecting the body, this is effective Immune system to the tissues and organs.
Strong fever, rapid heartbeat, extremely low blood pressure
McMorrow and his father told the New York Times and CNN news channel how it felt. Everything started in mid-April with a slight fever and rashes on the hands. “We did it,” said John McMorrow. He thought his son may have used disinfectants too often.
But in the next ten days, Jack was worse off, writes the “New York Times”. Symptoms such as nausea, a swollen throat, dry cough and a metallic taste were added. His parents had consulted Jack’s pediatricians via video chat and even visited an emergency clinic with him on a weekend.
Then he woke up one morning and was unable to move
His fever was so high that “he couldn’t move anything,” Jack told CNN. “Even when others were moving my limbs, it was painful. The only way I can describe it is that it felt almost like electricity or fire flowing through my veins.” The New York Times told the 14-year-old that the pain had flooded his body “in a throbbing, stinging high”. “You could feel it flowing through the veins and it was almost as if someone had injected a direct fire into it.”
Jack was hospitalized. He had tennis ball-sized lymph nodes, a high fever, a racing heartbeat, and an alarmingly low blood pressure. At 165 beats per minute, his resting heart rate was about twice as high as his heart tried to compensate for the low blood pressure, which in turn impaired the oxygen and nutrient supply to vital organs.
Blood vessels inflamed all over the body
Jack had some form of heart failure known as cardiogenic shock, the hospital’s pediatric intensive care director Steven Kernie told The New York Times, and Jack’s condition was “fairly severe.” The blood vessels in his entire body were inflamed, so that the muscles of the vessels “did not control blood flow as well as they should”.
For days, the doctors tried to improve Jack’s health. But it was only when they gave him steroids that could have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects that they were successful. The boy slowly recovered.
Meanwhile Jack is back home. He will have to take steroids and blood thinners for a while, the newspaper reports. He may have ruptured heart valves and residual inflammation of the heart, but the doctors assumed that these would heal on their own.
He used to think about becoming an actor, Jack told The New York Times. He even appeared as an extra on the television program “Gotham”. But before he got sick, he thought about studying medicine. And the interest in it has now grown. “I just want to make more of my life now that I have it back.”
Sources: “New York Times”, CNN
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