TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey health officials have reported nearly two dozen new cases of the potential COVID-19-related disease impacting children across the country.

The Department of Health is advising parents to be on the lookout for symptoms of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) after 23 new cases were reported.

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Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, red or pink eyes, red cracked lips or red tongue that looks like a strawberry, swollen hands and feet that may also be red, sluggishness or irritability, abdominal pain, and an enlarged lymph node on one side of the neck.


Health care providers have said MIS-C can also show severe inflammation of the heart, blood vessels, the gastrointestinal tract, or other organs. It is believed to be caused by a reaction to the coronavirus. The syndrome has features like Kawasaki disease and Toxic-Shock Syndrome.

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“Parents should watch for symptoms of this illness in their children and contact a health care provider immediately so the child can be tested for COVID-19,” Health Commissioner Dr. Judith Persichilli said. “Children with this syndrome may require intensive hospital care. It is important that parents take steps to prevent children from being exposed to COVID-19. Physical distancing from others, using face coverings, and practicing good hand hygiene are the best ways to prevent COVID-19.”

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The 23 children recently diagnosed range in age from 1 to 18. All were hospitalized, though 15 have since been discharged. Five remain hospitalized and the status of three is unknown at this time. Ten of the children are male, nine are female and the sex of four is unknown as this time. All the children tested positive for COVID-19 on a PCR or serology test, the state said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Cases were reported in 11 counties, with Middlesex leading the way with five. Passaic and Union reported three, Hudson and Ocean have two, while single cases were reported in Bergen, Camden, Cumberland, Mercer and Monmouth.

Experts say early recognition of the syndrome by pediatricians and specialists is essential. Clinicians should report suspect cases to local health departments and to submit a case report to the state Health Department.

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For information on COVID-19 please visit the Department of Health COVID-19 Innovation Hub at