September 25, 2020 by John Fernandez
Roundup: ‘Inflammatory Syndrome’ in Children; What are ‘COVID Toes’? and Sales Tax Holiday on Storm Supplies
CDC Issues Alert on ‘Inflammatory Syndrome’ in Children Linked to COVID-19
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health alert to physicians regarding a rare, but potentially deadly, condition associated with COVID-19 in children.
The CDC calls the condition “multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children,” or MIS-C. Cases have been reported in more than 20 states and Washington, D.C. It was previously referred to as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Physicians say the illness produces symptoms that resemble those of toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease, including fever, rash, swollen hands and feet, and severe inflammation of the coronary arteries. But there is still much that is unknown.
“There is limited information currently available about risk factors, pathogenesis, clinical course, and treatment for MIS-C,” the CDC’s alert states.
Children are still considered to be at a lower risk than adults of developing COVID-19 or serious complications from the coronavirus. But reviewed cases of MIS-C are believed to be triggered by COVID-19.
More than 100 cases have been reported in New York, where the first U.S. cases of MIS-C started to emerge weeks ago and three young people — ages 5, 7 and 18 — have died. Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said MIS-C has surfaced in Florida. “We are beginning to see cases nationally and a few cases in Florida of this inflammatory disorder that is infecting children,” Rivikees said Monday in a statewide call with hospital representatives. “If you see cases like that, make us aware at the Department of Health.”
Additional reports of children “presenting with severe inflammatory syndrome with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 or an epidemiological link to a COVID-19 case” have been reported by authorities in other countries, the CDC said. “It is currently unknown if multisystem inflammatory syndrome is specific to children or if it also occurs in adults,” the CDC adds.
The CDC’s health alert provides guidance for diagnosis of MIS-C. The diagnostic markers include a fever of at least 100.4 degrees for at least 24 hours, signs of inflammation in the body, and hospitalization with problems in at least two organs (such as the heart, the kidneys or the lungs). The CDC also said that physicians should look for evidence of COVID-19, either through a diagnostic test, or a COVID-19 antibodies test, or through evidence of recent exposure to someone with the virus.
The Latest on ‘COVID Toes’ — An Unusual But Not Serious Symptom of Coronavirus
So-called “COVID toes” are red, sore, and sometimes itchy swellings on toes that resemble sores or bumps from exposure to very cold temperatures or frostbite. These are small lesions caused by inflammation of tiny blood vessels.
COVID toes seem to be the result of COVID-19’s clotting capability. In these cases, the coronavirusg forms very small blood clots in the toes — much like the virus can more seriously affect other areas of our body
The American Academy of Dermatology cautions the public not to panic if they have red toes, but to seek a telemedicine consultation to better determine if the issue could be COVID toes.
The majority of people with COVID toes don’t seem to experience other symptoms of the coronavirus, and don’t require hospitalization for care. “Many patients are developing these toe lesions well after their infection, or they’re otherwise completely asymptomatic, except for the toes,” Esther Freeman, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, told AARP.org. Dr. Freeman is overseeing an international registry of dermatological manifestations of COVID-19.
Pay No State Sales Tax on Certain Hurricane Prepareness Supplies, May 29-June 4
With the 2020 hurricane season officially starting June 1, it is time to stock up on supplies. Beginning Friday, May 29, through through Thursday, June 4, qualifying items related to hurricane or storm preparedness are exempt from the Florida sales tax, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.
The 2020 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday includes certain disaster preparedness supplies, including:
- Portable self-powered light sources, such as flashlights — selling for $20 or less
- Portable self-powered radios, including two-way radios or weather-band radios — selling for $50 or less
- Tarps, other waterproof sheets, ground anchors or ties, bungee cords — selling for $50 or less
- Gas or diesel fuel tanks that are sold for $25 or less
- AA, AAA, C, D, 6-volt or 9-volt batteries sold for $30 or less (automobile and boat batteries are excluded)
- Non-electric coolers or ice chests up to $30
- Portable generators sold for $750 or less
- Reusable ice sold for $10 or less
For a full list of qualifying items, see this document. The sales tax holiday does not apply to the rental or repair of any of the qualifying items.