FOX 2 - Pediatricians are monitoring a concerning condition in kids likely triggered by COVID-19.
Metro Detroit is the only area in Michigan seeing diagnosed cases of pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome with most being treated at Detroit Children's Hospital of Michigan.
Beaumont saw its first case Thursday, a 9-year-old girl who was slipping into cardiac distress.
"All we could think about was her little heart and what could happen," said Melissa Paskvan.
On and off for a week, her daughter Josie had a high fever, red eyes and cracked lips.
"My tummy hurt and my throat was like, dry," Josie said.
Their pediatrician recommended heading to Beaumont hospital.
"She was gray and ashy and she was very dazed and confused," said Paskvan.
She was diagnosed with pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. Josie is COVID-19 positive. Her doctors say the virus triggered this illness.
"Truthfully it is not a surprise one bit that there are such cases," said Bishara Freij, chief of pediatric infectious disease at Beaumont.
Freij says this syndrome mimics another child illness, Kawasaki Syndrome. It's been around since the 1960s and affects about 4,000 kids in the US per year.
Kawasaki is trigged by a virus, the body having a hyper-immune response, causing internal inflammation. Classic symptoms include a fever, rash, red eyes and more.
A spike of the Kawasaki-like illness in Detroit and New York City has led many to believe COVID-19 is the cause.
"This is a newly recognized presentation of COVID-19, so it gets its own name," Freij said. "But this will eventually probably wilt away and become Kawasaki triggered by COVID-19, like triggered by any virus."
Children's hospital has sent children with it to the ICU the last two weeks, as they decline quickly with cardiac issues. It is treatable, early on.
"This girl, I'm happy to report, has responded beautifully to the treatment," Freij said.
Dr. Freij says an uptick in cases is inevitable - because COVID-19 is so widespread. Massive doses of aspirin and a protein found in blood, from donors, has Josie on the mend.
"Stay healthy and stay strong," Josie said.
The list of symptoms in younger children - it starts with a fever, sometimes like a rash, red palms, red and cracked lips, irritated eyes and an exceptionally red, strawberry tongue.
Different symptoms are seen in older kids including a fever to start, a rash and abdominal pain or diarrhea.
Eventually the heart rate goes up, their blood pressure goes down, their heart stops functioning at a high level so they start to show signs of heart failure.