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Girl survived heart attack linked to coronavirus, inflammatory disease

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Girl survived heart attack linked to coronavirus, inflammatory disease
  • A 12-year-old girl has become the first child to talk to the press about having a rare multisystem inflammatory syndrome that has been seen in over 100 children worldwide in recent months.
  • Juliet Daly, from Louisiana, went into cardiac arrest and required CPR.
  • One of her doctors said she “was about as close to death as you can get.” 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A 12-year-old from Louisiana has survived a cardiac arrest linked to the coronavirus and a rare inflammatory disorder that has been seen in clusters of children around the world since the pandemic began. 

Juliet Daly has made a full recovery after doctors performed two minutes of CPR to revive her.

The medical team later told her father, Sean Daly, that Juliet was suffering from the same multisystem inflammatory syndrome that over 100 children have recently been diagnosed with, including dozens across 15 states in the US.

Dr. Jake Kleinmahon, a pediatric cardiologist at Ochsner Hospital for Children in New Orleans, where Juliet was treated, told CNN that her case of the syndrome was a result of her immune system overreacting to the coronavirus, and causing inflammation throughout the body.

She “was about as close to death as you can get,” Kleinmahon said.

Juliet was on a ventilator for four days, and left the hospital on May 15, according to TIME.

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Juliet’s did not initially have the breathing problems most adults have with COVID-19. Instead she had stomach pain and vomiting, and her lips turned blue.

“I really didn’t understand how serious it was but I was scared,” Juliet, the first child to talk to the press about the experience of the new multisystem inflammatory syndrome, told CNN.

There are plenty of unknowns about the new syndrome, which bears similarities to Kawasaki disease, a little-understood inflammatory disease that predominantely strikes children, and seems to be triggered by a virus or bacterial infection.

The new syndrome has similar symptoms to Kawasaki, like fever and rash. Doctors have also recorded swelling of hands and feet, swollen lymph glands in the neck, and irritation and inflammation of the mouth, lips, and throat.

Some doctors are theorizing that having coronavirus can trigger the immune system’s overreaction, and one recent study done by doctors in Bergamo, Italy, found a “strong association” between the two conditions.

The disease can be treated with high doses of aspirin or an IV drip of gamma globulin. Without treatment, 15 to 25% of people with disease will develop thinning or bulging of the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart, which can be fatal, according to the US National Library of Medicine. 

At least three children in New York have died from the syndrome, and states like Kentucky and Michigan are also reporting cases. The CDC has published a health advisory warning doctors to look out for the symptoms.

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