Mum’s warning after son’s recovery from COVID-19 takes unexpected turn

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In early October, nine-year-old US boy Joey Pellegrini contracted COVID-19.

Thankfully, his symptoms were mild and he was back in school about two weeks later.

“All of his symptoms were over, the head cold had gone,” Joey’s mother, Jane Pellegrini, told NBC.

“We thought, ‘No big deal. COVID wasn’t that scary after all.’ And that was it.”

But a few weeks later Joey developed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, a rare but serious complication of COVID-19.

As the name suggests, MIS-C affects multiple systems in the body and can even lead to organ damage or death without adequate treatment.

Joey Pellegrini spent five days in the hospital following his MIS-C diagnosis. Credit: Supplied

Experts have learned a lot about it and how to treat it since the beginning of the pandemic.

And they told NBC that the authorisation of COVID-19 vaccines for use in younger groups of kids is a promising development.

But as the winter holiday season approaches North America, there’s concern that a recent jump in COVID-19 cases in kids could signal more MIS-C cases down the line.

Concerning trend

Coronavirus cases among kids are still down from their peak in September, but have been slowly rising again since the end of October.

In the week ending in November 18, there were nearly 142,000 cases in kids, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

For Joey, MIS-C meant an emergency five-day stay in the hospital and lingering fatigue. Now, Pellegrini is sharing her family’s story in the hopes that other parents will know what to look for – and act quickly – should their child develop signs of MIS-C.

On October 29, Joey started feeling sick again with what Pellegrini assumed was simply a stomach bug.

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