NEW ORLEANS (AP) – When 12-year-old Juliet Daly came down with a fever and severe abdominal pain lasting several days, her mother Jennifer said she never expected it would be the novel coronavirus.
Juliet was admitted into the emergency room on April 6, where it was discovered she had suffered a heart block that slowed her heart, eventually causing cardiac arrest for two minutes before Juliet was revived, intubated and airlifted to Ochsner Hospital for Children in New Orleans.
A team of pediatric cardiology specialists found that Juliet had acute fulminant myocarditis (AFM), an uncommon heart condition that tends to present with sudden onset acute heart failure, cardiogenic shock or life-threatening arrhythmias.
A nasal swab confirmed that Juliet was also COVID-19 positive and that she had a second viral infection – adenovirus.
Since Juliet had no history of heart issues, it was determined this was a result of the virus diagnosis.
Juliet remained intubated for about four days as treatments focused on improving her heart, kidney and liver function.
She was extubated with no problems and discharged on April 15 after a 10-day hospital stay. She is expected to make a full recovery.
Her doctors say there are some interesting takeaways with Juliet’s case and others like it.
They say most pediatric COVID cases are diagnosed in conjunction with another virus, as was the case with Juliet.
And, they are finding, pediatric COVID patients are presenting with more abdominal symptoms verses the respiratory flu-like symptoms commonly seen in infected adults.
Also, pediatric patients who don’t do well and need to be hospitalized are more likely to have cardiac problems rather than respiratory issues.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.
For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
The vast majority of people recover.
Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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