8-Year-Old Hospitalized With Rare Disease Triggered By Coronavirus Infection
Eduardo Cortes, 8, has been receiving care at Rady Children’s Hospital for nearly a week after coming down with a rare disease triggered by coronavirus infections called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome.
"I thought it was just a normal fever but everything was increasing more and more and more," said Eduardo's dad, Leo Cortes.
Eduardo's parents had COVID-19 in August and and it was not until recently that the second grader started experiencing symptoms. His condition got worse, prompting his parents to take him the emergency room where Eduardo had a 105 degree fever.
"It was something scary for me," his dad Leo said, adding he felt helpless in the situation.
Eduardo’s mom was partially vaccinated but his dad was not at all, saying he did not think he would get the virus. Now he says that was a mistake.
"It is really hard — it is really, really hard," Leo said. "It already happened to me, I don't want it to happen to anyone else — especially for the kids."
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome cases in kids started popping up early on during the pandemic and so far some 600 cases have been reported statewide with at least 80 cases in San Diego. It causes inflammation of the heart and while rare, can be deadly.
"For Eduardo specifically, he did have a little bit of decrease in the function of his heart — in the middle of his care — but that has improved," said Dr. Adriana Tremoulet, an infectious disease specialist who is overseeing Eduardo's care. "He had four days of fever. He also had some red eyes, swelling of his neck as well as severe neck pain, as well severe abdominal pain and vomiting."
Eduardo is doing well after receiving anti-inflammatory medicine and steroids to reduce inflammation in the heart. His parents wish they never had to go through this ordeal.
"There’s a lot of coronavirus out there and we honestly didn’t think it was going to happen to us — and then in fact it did happen to us," Eduardo's mom, Rosa Reyes Cortes said in Spanish. "The sickness that our son has is really ugly. His eyes turned really red, he has marks all over his body."
The disease usually appears two to six weeks after catching the virus and long term effects are still unknown. Eduardo has two siblings who are healthy — researchers still do not know why some kids get it and others do not.
"Because we don't know who’s at risk — that’s why it’s super important to reduce the risk to get that disease and the best way to do that is to get vaccinated for COVID," said Dr. Tremoulet.
Eduardo's parents said they hope he is well enough to leave the hospital by early next week.