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Incidents of Pediatric Illness Associated With COVID-19 Still Low In Southern California

A red rash, as shown on this child's back in this undated photo, is a symptom...

Credit: Kawasaki Research Foundation

Above: A red rash, as shown on this child's back in this undated photo, is a symptom of Kawasaki disease.

A new illness linked to COVID-19 that impacts children has yet to take much of a hold in southern California. What’s being called the “Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children,” which inflames blood vessels and could lead to organ damage, has been found worldwide by doctors in places hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, Los Angeles saw four cases of the illness among children and San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital treated 1 patient that was discharged home. But on the whole, numbers in southern California remain quite low.

According to data provided to KPBS by the state’s Health Department, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties have each reported fewer than 11 cases of the illness.

RELATED: Rady Re-Evaluating Recent Kawasaki Cases For New Pediatric Illness Tied To Coronavirus

Rady’s Dr. Jane Burns told KPBS the illness is like Kawasaki Disease, which affects the blood vessels. She said COVID-19 could be a trigger.

“We're trying to piece together all the bits of this puzzle, but it would seem to us that the exposure to the virus and the immune response that a genetically susceptible child makes could be one of perhaps many triggers for Kawasaki disease,” Burns told KPBS in an interview earlier this month.

Patients usually have either tested positive for COVID-19 themselves or had contact with a parent or family member who has.

All of California’s confirmed cases were found in children nine years or younger.

Listen to this story by Max Rivlin-Nadler.

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