BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A rare, mysterious illness is starting to appear in some children across the country, and it may be linked to COVID-19.

The CDC issued an advisory about it Thursday to doctors, and they’re calling it pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or PMIS.

Alany is one of dozens of children who have been treated for the mysterious illness after being exposed to COVID-19.

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She had a fever, was dehydrated and had low blood pressure.

The 3-year-old from New Jersey was taken to a hospital and treated in the ICU for four days with IV fluids and antibiotics.

“The way she was breathing, it was horrible,” Chavely Rodriguez, Alany’s mother, said. “I just wanted to be next to her.”

CBS News reports that 200 cases of the illness are under investigation in 19 states and Washington D.C.

None have been reported in Maryland yet, but pediatricians like Dr. Kerri Best at MedStar Franklin Square are watching symptoms of the illness.

“Children can have prolonged days of fever, they can have red cracked lips, they have a strawberry tongue…. they can even have organ failure,” Dr. Best said.

Other symptoms include rashes, pink eye, severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and chest pain. But children may not immediately show signs of the illness.

“It’s considered a delayed reaction, so from the cases that they’ve had in New York, most of the kids have had the reaction afterwards,” Dr. Best added. “So they could have been COVID-positive weeks earlier.”

Dr. Best said you should contact your child’s pediatrician if they display symptoms.

“If there’s an emergency, call 911 or go to the ER, but you should always feel comfortable calling your pediatrician, just because we do want to triage,” Dr. Best said. “We are trying to keep healthy patients in the clinic, and trying to avoid the spread also.”

The understanding of PMIS is evolving, and the CDC is asking doctors to report cases of it as they continue to learn more about it.

“It goes along to show is that we are still learning a lot about COVID-19,” Dr. Best said.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller

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