Healthcare authorities in the United Kingdom have alerted pediatricians that COVID-19 might be associated with a rare disease in children that causes blood vessels to become inflamed and may lead to heart disease.
National Health Service (NHS) has reported more than a dozen cases in which severely ill children were admitted to intensive care after exhibiting overlapping symptoms of toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease. Most of the children were tested positive for COVID-19 as well. No deaths have been reported among them so far.
Kawasaki disease was first identified 50 years ago. To this day, scientists are trying to ascertain the underlying causes of this rare disease. Kawasaki disease remains the most common cause of acquired heart disease in children aged less than 5 in developed countries.
Paediatric Intensive Care Society UK (PICS) has expressed concerns that either a SARS-COV-2-related inflammatory syndrome is emerging in children in the UK or this is a yet unidentified infectious pathogen.
Rising no of cases presenting to #PedsICU with multi-system hyperinflammatory state, overlapping features of toxic shock syndrome & atypical Kawasaki disease, bloods consistent with severe #COVID19 – seen in both #SARSCoV2 PCR +ve AND -ve
Please share widely pic.twitter.com/Bj6YHLJ8zi
— Paediatric Critical Care Society (@PICSociety) April 26, 2020
According to Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Kawasaki disease is treatable. Children are administered intravenous immunoglobulin from donated blood, which decreases their chances of developing heart issues from 1/4 to 1/20.