(Charlie L. Harper III)

There are two suspected cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children—a rare but serious condition believed to be associated with COVID-19—in Travis County, Austin Public Health Chief Epidemiologist Janet Pichette said during a virtual press conference earlier today.


Dell Children's Medical Center reported the county's first case earlier this week.

Initial research by the CDC indicates that the syndrome appears four to six weeks after exposure to COVID-19 and that the majority of cases in New York City occurred in children younger than 5 years old.

Symptoms include swelling of the hands and feet, redness in both eyes, rash and peeling of skin and swollen lymph nodes, according to Dell Children's. Dr. Sarmistha Hauger, chief of pediatric infectious diseases, said in a news release that early diagnosis can prevent serious complications, such as organ damage.

In addition to monitoring emerging cases of this disease, APH continues its pandemic response.

At the same press conference, Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott worried that COVID clusters may emerge following this weekend's protests. "We are concerned that we are going to see an uptick in cases related to that," he said, adding that the state's continued reopening may also contribute.

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