IDPH confirms post-infection disease hits two state children

Lee County sees 19th confirmed COVID-19 case; 16 listed as recovered

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

JOHNSTON – State officials confirmed Monday that two children in eastern Iowa have been infected with an inflammatory disease that is effecting children who’ve been exposed to the COVID-19 illness.

Dr. Caitlin Pedati confirmed the cases during Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds daily update from the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Johnston Monday.

Pedati said the disease called Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome is similar to Kawasaki Disease, and is being monitored by state health officials.

The first cases of the disease were reported in New York City about six weeks ago and now more than 145 children in the city have been sickened. Reports are also popping up in about half of the nation’s states according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC has confirmed the link to COVID-19 and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has reported that 90% of the children sickened tested positive for the coronavirus, or antibodies indicating they had the contracted the virus.

“Friday afternoon the Iowa Department of Public Health did have two reports of this syndrome.” Pedati said Monday.

She said the children were from eastern Iowa are currently stable.

“We are working with local health and clinical providers to gather more information. What we know now is there is fever and signs of inflammation, you might have heard this compared to another rare infectious disease called Kawaski disease,” Pedati said.

“We’re following it very closely to learn more about. So far, thankfully, reports of children getting sick are very rare.”

Symptoms in addition to the fever include: irritability or sluggishness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, conjunctivitis, enlarged lymph node on one side of the next, red cracked lips or red tongue, and swollen hands and feet.

Pedati said reports of any diagnoses of the disease in the state must be reported to the IDPH.

Reynolds said she is still considering additional measures to reopen the state further, citing increased testing capacity and encouraging numbers.

She said it’s been more than 18 days since the state’s highest single daily new positive case data.

“The time is right to move into the recovery phase and start reopening Iowa’s economy,” she said.

“We’re at a point where we can and must strike a balance between managing the virus for the long term, and getting the economy up and running once again. The long-term consequences of keeping Iowa’s business closed are far reaching.”

On Monday, the Lee County Health Department announced a 19th positive case in the county. The case involves a middle aged man who is in isolation. Sixteen of the county’s cases are listed as recovered.

Reynolds also announced new updated reporting standards for the state’s coronavirus website at coronavirus.iowa.gov. She said now people will be able to see real-time case count information, so daily updates won’t be required.

Iowa was just honored as one of the nation’s top 10 states in data reporting since the outbreak, the governor said.

She also said a new dedicated Test Iowa call center is now up and running but didn’t provide a number for the center. The center is staffed with nurses to answer questions about the assessment and results. The Test Iowa website didn’t list a call center number Monday evening.

The governor’s current emergency order is set to expire next week and Reynolds said state officials are looking into extending some of the order, while rescinding other parts.

She said the moratorium on utility shutoff and evictions may be extended, as well as talks about further grant opportunities for landlords.

“We’re looking at that, in conjunction with Iowa Economic Development Authority, and to put in some other grants that would apply to apartment owners,” Reynolds said.

“We’re looking at different scenarios to make sure we’re not removing that too soon, and we’re working with Iowan’s as we open the economy. While we haven’t made a decision yet, we’re looking at all aspects of the order that will expire next week.”

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