CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s an alarming illness in children related to COVID-19.
Two Chicago area parents want you know what to look for in your kids.READ MORE: 1 Dead, 2 Injured In I-57 Expressway Shooting Near 119th Street
CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports these parents thought it was flu. Their little girl’s organs were shutting down and she spent days in intensive care.
“She woke up on a Friday morning and said her neck was hurting.”
That’s how it began for five-year-old Janiya Johnson. Then it was an upset stomach, fever and extreme fatigue.
Her parents Oshunda and Jonathan took her to a hospital in Northwest Indiana where doctors were alarmed.
“The doctors said no, her liver and her kidneys are not functioning to the level that they should be. So now I’m worried, I’m crying. I’m calling my mother, my mother-in-law. I’m telling them what’s going on with my baby. I don’t know,” said Oshunda Johnson.
Janiya was rushed to Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn.
“Her blood pressure is dropping the whole way there,” Oshunda Johnson. “When we got to the hospital, maybe about three doctors and five or six nurses were at the door waiting on her.”READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Temperatures Climbing; Sunny Skies Ahead
Janiya spent four days in intensive care. She had been diagnosed with pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C, inflammation of major organs, which is related to COVID.
“They are really sick,” said Doctor Frank Belmonte of Advocate Children’s Hospital. “They might start with a little bit of abdominal pain, but that progress is pretty quickly. Vomiting, diarrhea, high fevers, full body rash, lethargic, not eating.”
Doctor Belmonte said he doesn’t know if Janiya had COVID. But her parents said she tested positive for the antibodies. They want parents everywhere to be alert.
“Watch for the symptoms of the MIS-C, because, you know, your kid might come in and say, the neck hurt, the tummy hurt, the eyes bloodshot red,” Jonathan Johnson said. “These are things that you look for.”
Janiya has made a full recovery.
“She is excellent,” said her mother.
The children with the illness either had COVID even without the symptoms or they were exposed to someone with the virus.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Weekend Warmup
And it can show up weeks later.