Unvaccinated 16-year-old Israeli Dies of post-COVID Condition PIMS

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A coronavirus ward in Shaare Zedek Medical Center, in Jerusalem, in May.
A coronavirus ward in Shaare Zedek Medical Center, in Jerusalem, in May.Credit: Emil Salman
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

A 16-year-old teenager who was not vaccinated died Saturday of complications from PIMS syndrome, a rare inflammatory condition some children and teenagers develop after recovering from the coronavirus.

The teenager was later identified as Eden Jamal Fiyumi from the town of Jaljulya, near Kfar Sava.

Fiyumi is the first child to die from PIMS syndrome in Israel, according to experts. The syndrome was first reported in April 2020, and since then around 100 cases have been recorded in Israel.

Eden Jamal Fiyumi.

The boy was first hospitalized in Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava, and then, two weeks ago, transferred to Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel, where he was connected to a heart-and-lung ECMO machine.

Children usually develop the condition, called Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, eight to ten weeks after contracting COVID-19, including those who had a mild case of the virus. Its early symptoms include stomach pain, rashes and fevers, and later may worsen to life-threatening inflammation of the heart. In half of the cases, heart damage remains even after recovery.

On Thursday, a 6-month-old baby was hospitalized with the syndrome at a children's hospital in Sheba Medical Center, where she was treated with life-saving measures and connected to an ECMO machine.

A patient connected to an ECMO machine at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, on Thursday.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

In addition, about ten days ago, a 5-year-old was hospitalized with PIMS at Kaplan Hospital. His parents said they didn't know he ever contracted the coronavirus, which a serological test revealed only later. They added that the boy wasn't vaccinated due to his young age.

The director of pediatric intensive care at the hospital, Dr Eli Shapiro, said the boy was suffering from one "of the most significant complications" the syndrome can cause.

On Friday, Haaretz reported that Israel is buying more ECMO machines, after a record number of patients were hooked up to them. Four such devices are soon arriving and six more are expected soon.

Before the acquisition, Israel had 82 machines, a third of which are reserved in the event of malfunction. However, due to increasing demand, there are increasingly fewer machines available. On Friday, 56 out of the country's 82 machines were in use. 

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