A few months into the novel coronavirus outbreak, experts are still learning new about the virus and the disease it brings. Now, experts from the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as other countries in Europe, fear that a rare inflammatory syndrome known as Kawasaki disease is linked to COVID-19 and attacking young coronavirus patients.
Rare Inflammatory Syndrome in Young COVID-19 Patients
According to a report by CNN, a small but rising number of young patients are being diagnosed with the rare inflammatory condition, reporting gastrointestinal symptoms, abdominal pain, as well as cardiac inflammation.
An "urgent alert" from the Nation Health Services England (NHS) and the Pediatrics Intensive Care Society (PICS) warned of these children exhibiting "overlapping features of toxic shock syndrome and atypical Kawasaki disease with blood parameters."
Many of these young kids have tested positive for novel coronavirus.
With that, experts fear that Kawasaki disease might be linked to SARS-CoV-2 or the COVID-19 virus and seen as a possible complication of the viral infection.
The Health Service Journal (HSJ) also added that if it is not the novel coronavirus that causes the appearance of this rare syndrome, it could be another unidentified pathogen that might be causing them.
Nevertheless, doctors in Europe are still trying to confirm if the inflammation of the arteries and the gut is indeed linked and a possible complication of COVID-19.
Cases in the U.S.
As of writing, three young coronavirus patients in New York, ranging from ages six months to eight years old, are also being treated with the inflammatory syndrome, according to a specialist treating them.
"Right now, we're at the very beginning of trying to understand what that represents," Dr. Mark Gorelik, a pediatric rheumatologist and immunologist from Columbia University Medical Center told Reuters.
The three new cases from New York follow an initial report by the Stanford University in California wherein a six-month-old baby was admitted to a hospital for Kawasaki disease and was soon tested for COVID-19.
The baby did not exhibit any respiratory symptoms, but she was fussy and had a fever.
Additionally, doctors spotted a small, white spot in her mid-lung after a chest X-ray was done, so her doctors sent her to the emergency room where she was given high-dose aspirin and intravenous immunoglobulin, which is a standard treatment for Kawasaki disease.
After two weeks, the young patient was discharged.
Not Kawasaki Disease?
Kawasaki disease is mostly undetected in the U.S., based on the report by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
No one knows where Kawasaki disease comes from
But, many experts believe it could stem from pathogens, including human coronaviruses, but it is treatable, and children can usually recover from it without any issues.
However, it can also be deadly.
Nevertheless, Gorelik believes that the inflammation syndrome found in the young COVID-19 patients is not Kawasaki disease, but only something similar, according to FOX News.
The U.K.'s health secretary, Matt Hancock, said that it could be a new disease caused by coronavirus or COVID-19, but since some who were diagnosed with it did not test positive for the virus, they can't be 100% sure.
As of now, they are doing a lot of research, so he urged everyone, especially parents, to not panic.