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Kentucky Child In Critical Condition With Mysterious Coronavirus-Related Illness

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A 10 year-old from Kentucky is in critical condition and on a ventilator due to a newly-identified inflammatory condition related to COVID-19.

There is little known about the illness. State officials say it is rare, causes the immune system to be hyperactive and creates an extensive inflammatory response.

During his daily briefing Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear provided few details about the child. He said this is the first case of the coronavirus-related syndrome reported in Kentucky.


“Any time somebody’s on a ventilator, it’s tough,” Beshear said. “Having our first 10 year-old with COVID on a ventilator is tougher to me as a dad of a 10 year-old.”

The newly-discovered condition comes after health experts and officials initially thought that children were largely spared from coronavirus. Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Stephen Stack said the syndrome can manifest in children’s digestive systems or respiratory systems.

“The problem is then, once that starts the inflammation goes out of control and then it hits the child’s body overall and they have a lot more problems,” said Stack. “There’s just a lot we don’t know about it yet, unfortunately.”

The case is the first reported in Kentucky. Similar cases have been reported in Louisiana, Mississippi and New York.

There were 105 new coronavirus cases in Kentucky on Monday. Gov. Andy Beshear said the total is artificially low due to a lack of reporting from labs over the weekend and that the state will “catch back up” by Wednesday.

There were four more coronavirus-related deaths on Monday, for a total of 311.

Ryland is the state capitol reporter for the Kentucky Public Radio Network, a group of public radio stations including WKU Public Radio. A native of Lexington, Ryland has covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin.
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