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PIMS - information for Parents

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 is herein called PIMS.

PIMS is a rare complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which developes in children app. 4-6 weeks after infection. PIMS may develop after asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Children of all ages may present with PIMS, hovewer it is most common in school-aged population. The risk of developing PIMS after SARS-CoV-2 infection in a given child is unknown, although it is assumed to be <1%. 

PIMS is characterized by fever, which may be associated with:

  • Abdominal pain (sometimes very severe)

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Rash – various lesions may develop in various parts of the body, they commonly form pink patches or circles

  • Conjunctivitis ("red eyes")

  • Red, cracked lips

  • Swollen and/or erythematous hands and feet

  • Asthenia

  • Headache

  • Stiff, painful neck

  • Sore throat

These are the most common PIMS symptoms and signs, although due to its multisystemic inflammatory nature, any organ can be affected and symptomatic. Children with PIMS usually look severly ill, toxic, they have high fever and are very weak. A proportion of children with PIMS develop cardiovascular collapse, which is a life-threatening situation. 

PIMS resembles an infection, but it is not. The mainstay of treatment are immunomodulatory medications: intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and glucocorticosteroids (steroids). Children with PIMS must be treated in a hospital.