Pediatric Rheumatologists on the Front Lines of Mystery Illness Affecting Children

As your trusted source for information on the latest arthritis news during this COVID-19 pandemic, the Arthritis Foundation is committed to keeping you updated on research and information relevant to our community. Recently, a mystery illness thought to be related to the new coronavirus has been showing up in children. It bears similarities to Kawasaki disease, a rheumatic disease that can cause joint pain.

Despite similarities to Kawasaki disease – including fever for several days, rash, red eyes and other symptoms – it appears this is a unique syndrome. This new, sometimes fatal syndrome goes by several names internationally, but is called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Learn more about MIS-C here. As experts in inflammatory conditions, pediatric and adult rheumatologists are at the forefront, being called in around the world by specialist physicians to help crack the code and treat children affected by MIS-C.

As doctors work to understand this new syndrome and its characteristics, the Arthritis Foundation will continue to monitor this evolving situation, how it affects the juvenile arthritis community and what we can do to help.

“As we confront a new illness, we take much comfort that we have a head start on treatment,” says Guy Eakin, Senior Vice President, Scientific Strategy. “Arthritis Foundation-funded research has been a leader for decades in exploring and helping identify treatments that work across the spectrum of autoimmune diseases. That is part of the legacy of our long-standing science program. It reminds us of the importance that the Arthritis Foundation has placed on funding JA research, and strong clinical research networks like the Childhood Arthritis & Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA).”

Stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 and arthritis-related news at our Care & Connect resource center.

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