LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) – A 4-year-old boy in Arkansas who was hospitalized for COVID-19 is now fighting much harder.
Olli Rodgers was tested for COVID-19 on January 8 after a high temperature. His mother, Whitney Rodgers, said he was admitted to the hospital two days later and returned positive later that evening.
She later found that it was more than a coronavirus. Ollie suffers from a multisystem inflammatory syndrome, which doctors say is a serious condition in some children who are exposed to COVID-19.
“It can be very scary for families when that happens,” said Jessica Snowden, head of the Children’s Infectious Diseases at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Rodgers said shortly after Christmas that Ollie developed a fever that would come and go. She said he was taken to the emergency department after failing to respond.
“Basically, he went from a small, lively sick child to not being able to speak properly,” Rodgers recalls. “He could just moan.”
Rodgers said Ollie slept in his hospital bed most of the day and was awake for no more than 15 minutes. Sensors attached to his forehead monitor potential seizures.
She said doctors were treating her son with oxygen, heart medication and a feeding tube.
“They said we weren’t sure it was the only thing he had and that it was just the traditional COVID. That’s when they built MIS-C, “Rodgers recalls.
Snowden said the syndrome could cause a rash, inflamed organs, neurological problems and the potential for long-term heart problems.
“If your child has unexplained fever and other symptoms for which we can’t put our finger on any of the usual children’s explanations for this, you should talk to your doctor,” Snowden said.
Rodgers said he was worried about the long-term effects.
“He was full of life – full of life. I hope at this point even just a part of it, ”Rodgers said.
Snowden said the hospital had treated 18 minors for MIS-C and expected to see more cases as COVID-19 continued to spread.
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