child battling kawasaki disease

DECATUR, Ga. (CBS46) -- "We're just so thankful he is ok."

Corrie Peterson had the scare of her life when her four-year-old son Jude became sick this past January.

"He developed a rash on his body and it progressed rapidly," she says.

A fever followed the next day. And then there was more.

"A bright red swollen tongue, his eyes were bloodshot and red."

Ten days of back and forth to the pediatrician ended with the child's doctor telling the North Decatur family, "he said 'you need to go to the hospital right now'," says Peterson.

At Children's Healthcare of Atlanta doctors say Jude had four out of the six symptoms of Kawasaki disease; a rare but serious reaction caused by the immune system's response to infection.

"We were like what?"

Peterson is not alone. Most parents have probably never heard of it, but they are hearing about it now, as a growing number of children across the country, and here in Atlanta, are being treated with identical symptoms; possibly linked to Covid-19 infection.

The new cases are being called pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

In Jude's case, the family hasn't been able to get antibody tests yet to see if the child was Covid positive, but his illness was downright serious.

"He had some inflamed parts of his heart too," Peterson adds.

"It was really scary; he was very sick."

Jude was sick for a month his mother says, but he's recovered and doctors say most kids who get this will do just that despite the severity of the illness.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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