CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- An inflammatory disease in children linked to COVID-19 has surfaced in Northeast Iowa, children have begun to be diagnosed with a rare illness called PMIS or MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children) as it's also known.
Today, the first patient diagnosed with MIS-C in Iowa, 8-year-old Fortune Djagni was discharged from UnityPoint Hospitals in Cedar Rapids after a 9-day stay in their clinic.
Fortune was cheered on by hospital staff at UnityPoint as they walked the halls to leave the hospital. He said he's ready to get back home to, "Celebrate that we are feeling better."
His Doctor, a Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Dilli Bhurtel said the syndrome seems to be the immune systems reaction the the post infection of Coronavirus.
"He has had this coronavirus infection around five to five and a half weeks before this illness," said Bhurtel.
The family felt slightly ill in February, Fortune's parents lost their taste and smell but Fortune barely showed symptoms, he only got a fever that went away after 24-hours.
His mother was later tested for the virus and it came back negative, so the family did not think they had contracted coronavirus.
However, his dad, Kokou, said it wasn't until early May when Fortune developed symptoms and started acting lethargic, "He was very very..." said Kokou.
"Weak," Fortune said.
"Yeah, when you're sick you don't know what to think," sid Kokou.
Dr. Bhurtel said it's a very rare syndrome but said parents should be on the lookout for a 24-hour fever as well as, "Your child is having abdominal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea or having a generalized rash or any kind of rash, having pink eyes or red eyes, and some respiratory symptoms, delirious, lethargic, or tired."
Fortune responded well to treatment, it's now been two weeks since his symptoms first appeared.
"Your body is inflamed and multiple organs are affected. What you need is to suppress that inflammation, the swelling. Then we use the medication to suppress the inflammation, and he responded to that," said Bhurtel.
Fortune said he's excited to finally feel better and Dr. Bhurtel said parents should seek medical attention if their child begins to not act like themselves.
"Let's be aware, but not panic. This condition is still rare, and common childhood illnesses are way more common than this condition and when this happens, when we treat early they respond very well," said Bhurtel.
Dr. Bhurtel said to avoid getting the syndrome, children should avoid contracting the coronavirus. He recommends following social distancing guidelines and to frequently wash hands.
To learn more about MIS-C, click here for information from the CDC.