When doctors began to recognize a serious inflammatory syndrome affecting children, apparently related in some way to Covid-19 infections, it was scary news for parents and pediatricians alike. Everyone had taken some comfort in the idea that this terrible and terrifying pandemic was in large part sparing the young.

Nobody could tell how common this new syndrome would turn out to be, and people worried that the surges of coronavirus infections and deaths among adults might be trailed by increasing numbers of children who had perhaps had mild or asymptomatic infections, but would later develop this mysterious illness.

Now, nearly two months after the first cases were reported, doctors can reassure parents that the syndrome remains rare, while continuing to urge vigilance. We do need to identify these rare children, because while they may start out with very common symptoms, they can become very sick — and also because we have therapies which seem to be working — which is the other cautiously positive news.

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