Scientists are continuing to learn more about the effects of COVID-19 on an individual’s health and a recent effect that health officials have come across locally is the development of multi-inflammatory syndrome among children infected with the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Emilie Prot with the Texas Department of State Health Services said Friday that there have been several cases of children with COVID-19 developing multi-inflammatory syndrome.

“Several of our local health departments have submitted some multi-inflammatory syndrome in children cases at the central office for review,” said Prot, regional medical director for Public Health Region 11.

Region 11 includes 19 counties in South Texas, from north of Corpus Christi to Laredo, and down to Brownsville.

Prot said the syndrome not only causes inflammation but also shock or cardiac disfunction, and abdominal pain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that multi-inflammatory syndrome encompasses the inflammation of different body parts including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

It is unknown what causes the syndrome but many children who develop it were infected with the novel coronavirus or were exposed to someone with COVID-19.

The syndrome can be deadly but children with the condition have recovered with medical care.

The CDC recommends contacting a healthcare provider right away if a child exhibits symptoms of this condition. These symptoms are fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, and feeling extra tired.

They also recommend seeking emergency care right away if a child shows emergency these warning signs: trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, and severe abdominal pain.

“There have been several in the state of Texas, most of those have been in Latino populations,” Prot said, “so it’s something that we do need to be very careful with and make sure that any cases that come up that (it’s) reported to the health department so we can keep an accurate tab on the extent of multi-system inflammatory syndrome.”

Prot added that the syndrome is also starting to appear in adults.

“So we’re still learning a lot about COVID-19 currently and there are severe complications, not only in children but also in adults, that can happen,” she said. “And so they’re starting to see those and if any cases do come up, we do need to make sure that those are reported to the health department so we can also keep an eye out on any cases of this multi-system inflammatory syndrome in adults.”