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Jacksonville 8-year-old dies from syndrome linked to COVID-19 despite negative test

Doctors said MIS-C syndrome can occur in children who have had COVID-19 or who have been with people who had the virus.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville 2nd grader died from a syndrome connected to COVID-19.

Deaurra Nealy had just turned 8 years old, days before she passed away Saturday, according to her family who created GoFundMe pages to help pay for her funeral expenses.

The page says Aurri -- as she was known –  “began to show signs of MIS-C – multi system inflammatory syndrome in children where different body arts can become inflamed and start to break down."

MIS-C is an illness that is linked to the COVID-19. However, according to the GoFundMe page, Aurri had tested ‘’negative on several occasions” to the novel coronavirus.

While it is rare, Dr. Mobeen Rathore said children can get this illness, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19 because it occurs in children who have either had COVID-19 or "the patient may have had contact with somebody who has COVID-19."

Dr. Rathore, an infectious disease pediatrician at UF Health Sands, could not speak directly about Aurri’s case but said MIS-C can make children very ill

'And usually they will have a multi-system involvement," Rathore said. "They can be hospitalized."

On rare occasions, the disorder fatal.

"We usually see MIS-C 3 - 4 weeks after there is an upsurge in cases," Rathore explained. "It’s not surprising we are seeing MIS-C right now."

According to the CDC, more than 70% of reported cases have occurred in children who are Hispanic or Latino or Black.

Rathore said parents need to use common sense and judgement. 

"The parents need to be seeing if the children are not doing well, have a fever, and then contact their pediatrician," Rathore said.

MIS-C just appeared on the scene about a year ago, and doctors have more to learn about the syndrome.