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Increase in the number of children with symptoms similar to Kawasaki syndrome in the UK and US
The researchers do not exclude that these symptoms of this rare disease are somehow related to the coronavirus.
Last Wednesday, researchers in the UK reported eight cases of rare inflammatory problems in children amid the pandemic. According to them, the symptoms resemble a severe form of Kawasaki syndrome, a very rare condition that causes inflammation in the walls of the arteries and can make it difficult for blood to flow to the heart.
According to doctors, all children were previously healthy and feeling well. Five sick children required mechanical ventilation, another child required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and later died of a stroke. Of the eight children, at least four were exposed to the coronavirus, and two tested positive. Five of them are boys. Note that Kawasaki syndrome is diagnosed more often in boys than in girls.
British researchers published their observations in the medical journal The Lancet. At the end of April, Britain's National Health Service sent doctors an urgent warning of emerging cases of atypical Kawasaki disease, which may be associated with coronavirus. When the article went to press, the researchers reported that they had already treated over 20 children with similar symptoms. The first ten of these children tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. This suggests that they have been exposed to the virus in the past, even if their test was negative at the time.
“We believe that this clinical picture represents a new phenomenon affecting previously asymptomatic children with SARS-CoV-2 infection, which manifests itself as a hyperinflammatory syndrome similar to toxic shock in Kawasaki disease,” the researchers write.
According to Dr. Jon Cohen, emeritus professor of infectious diseases at Brighton & Sussex Medical School, the inflammatory syndrome could have occurred in children not only because of the coronavirus. Perhaps it was the result of another infectious or non-infectious exposure.
Cases of atypical Kawasaki disease have also been reported in the United States: earlier, the New York City's health department warned about 15 children hospitalized with an unusual inflammatory syndrome that is possibly associated with coronavirus. Two days later, the Department issued a recommendation based on 64 similar cases.
“Fortunately, most children with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms, but some may develop a dangerous inflammatory syndrome,” New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a statement. Howard Zucker).
According to the agency's recommendations, atypical Kavaski syndrome can include persistent fever, abdominal symptoms, rashes and cardiovascular symptoms that require intensive care. In New York City, at least five children required a ventilator and more than half of the cases required blood pressure support.
In April, a team at Stanford Children's Hospital described the case of a 6-month-old girl who was hospitalized with Kawasaki disease and later diagnosed with coronavirus.
The girl recovered, but Dr. Brad Segal, who treated the child, said he was very surprised when her COVID-19 test came back positive. He and his colleagues then did not see a causal relationship between this disease and the coronavirus. Segal says Kawasaki syndrome is often preceded by respiratory or gastrointestinal illness. Very little is known about the causes of this disease, but there is a possibility that it is caused by infections that affect the immune system.