Baltimore teen, 15, dies of mysterious and possibly COVID-19 related illness

A syndrome potentially linked to the coronavirus has made some young people ill and been fatal to others has claimed the life of Dar'yana Dyson.

The novel coronavirus was initially believed to put mostly older people and those with underlying conditions at the most risk. But young people are now being impacted as well with an illness that could be linked to the virus.

Dar’yana Dyson, 15, died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore over the weekend of a pediatric inflammatory disease that the Centers For Disease Control now believes may be associated with COVID-19.

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Several health departments across the country and the world are reporting cases of a mysterious respiratory illness in children, teens, and young adults that has sickened most and led to death in others.


(Credit: Kandace Knight)


It is officially called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and has been reported in over 100 cases in New York City, three of which have been fatal. It has some similarities to Kawasaki syndrome, a rare illness. Many of the kids diagnosed in New York City cases have been Black or Hispanic.

Dyson’s mother, Kandace Knight, said she is stunned by how quickly her daughter deteriorated from what at first seemed like a simple illness.

“It happened so fast. I never thought that taking my daughter to the hospital for a stomach pain that I wouldn’t be walking out of there with her,” Knight told WBAL-TV.

Knight says her daughter complained of stomach pain and was running a fever, then developed a rash typical of Kawasaki and the related illness. Doctors are still unsure if there is a direct correlation between the illness and the COVID-19 virus, as some children have tested positive for the virus and or the antibodies, but others have not. Dyson did test positive for the antibodies, her mother says.

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“Any loss of life from this virus is tragic, but the loss of a child is devastating. Our prayers are with the family and loved ones of this young person,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski told CBS Baltimore. “This is a stark reminder that this virus spares no one, and that we all must remain vigilant in our efforts to stay home, socially distance, and limit the spread of this deadly disease.”

“She was so beautiful, she was too good for this world,” Knight said. She hopes that sharing her daughter’s story will convince others to take the virus seriously. Her family says that Dyson who loved music and loved to dance, had no underlying conditions.

“I hope that this can save another child. People need to really understand that this kills people. This hurts people — this hurts people in ways that they’ll never be able to come back from,” Knight told WBAL.

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