Doctors Suspect Rare Condition in Kids Has COVID-19 Link

Doctors report rise in cases of 'inflammatory state requiring intensive care'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 28, 2020 7:35 PM CDT
Rare Condition in Kids Could Have Virus Link
Staff at Waterloo Station in London put up a banner to thank nearby St Thomas' Hospital, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Doctors in Britain, Italy, and Spain have been warned to look out for a rare inflammatory condition in children that may be linked to the new coronavirus. Earlier this week, Britain’s Paediatric Intensive Care Society issued an alert to doctors noting that, in the past three weeks, there has been an increase in the number of children with "a multi-system inflammatory state requiring intensive care" across the country. The group said there is "growing concern” that either a COVID-19 related syndrome was emerging in children or that a different, unidentified disease might be responsible, the AP reports. "We already know that a very small number of children can become severely ill with COVID-19 but this is very rare," said Dr. Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Viner said the syndrome was likely caused by an overreaction of the body's immune system and noted similar symptoms had been seen in some adults infected with the coronavirus. The cases were also reported to have features of toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease, a rare blood vessel disorder. Only some of the children tested positive for COVID-19, so scientists are unsure if these rare symptoms are caused by the coronavirus or by something else. Health officials estimate there have been about 10-20 such cases in Britain. Spain’s Association of Pediatrics recently made a similar warning, telling doctors that in recent weeks, there has been a number of children suffering from "an unusual picture of abdominal pain, accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms" that could lead within hours to shock, low blood pressure, and heart problems."

(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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