Kawasaki disease: Rise in coronavirus-linked disease in children is ‘tip of iceberg’

Kawasaki disease: Rise in coronavirus-linked disease in children is ‘tip of iceberg’

Kawasaki disease is a condition that mainly affects children under the age of five. Kawasaki disease causes the blood vessels to become inflamed and swollen, which can lead to complications in the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart (coronary arteries). If the condition goes untreated, it may prove fatal.

She continued: “We estimate in London that the peak of COVID-19 was around the first to the second week in April, whereas we think we saw the peak of these children last week and this week.

“The feeling amongst my colleagues is that the numbers are starting to drop down a little bit now hopefully.”

Dr Whittaker said that most of the children tested negative for COVID-19, but all of them had positive antibodies to the virus.

She suggested that this could indicate that some children are having a delayed response to the virus several weeks after being infected – which is why it’s not being picked up in tests.

Preliminary data has identified the following symptoms:

  • A rash
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Dry, cracked lips
  • Red fingers or toes
  • Red eyes

At the end of last month, Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty commented on the emerging trend in the daily press conference.

Prof Whitty said: “This is a very rare situation, but I think it is entirely plausible that this is caused by this virus, at least in some cases.

“We know that in adults, who of course have much more disease than children do, the big problems are caused by an inflammatory process, and this looks like an inflammatory process, albeit a very different one.

“Therefore, given we’ve been given a new presentation of this, at a time with a new disease, the possibility – it’s not definite, we need to look at other causes too – but the possibility that there’s a link is certainly plausible.”

Published at Wed, 13 May 2020 20:02:00 +0000