Potential COVID-19 related syndrome is emerging in children

Reported cases are showing symptoms of gastrointestinal symptoms and cardiac inflammation – with some also testing positive for COVID-19.

Ian Snug
28 April 2020

Some children are showing symptoms of toxic shock syndrome and atypical Kawasaki Disease.

A new coronavirus-related syndrome impacting children could be emerging as the UK sees a rise in paediatric intensive care admissions, experts have warned.

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NHS England has warned healthcare professionals in the UK about a rise in children presenting with a “multi-system inflammatory state requiring intensive care”.

The Paediatric Intensive Care Society (PICS) also commented that some children are showing symptoms of toxic shock syndrome and atypical Kawasaki Disease “with blood parameters consistent with severe COVID-19 in children”.

Adding it is “important to highlight that, both in the UK and in other countries, there have still been very few cases of critically unwell children with Covid-19 admitted to paediatric intensive care units”.

“However, an early case report relating to Covid-19 presenting as Kawasaki syndrome has been published recently, and PICS is aware of a small number of children nationally who appear to fit the clinical picture described in the NHS England alert,” it said.

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Reported cases are showing symptoms of gastrointestinal symptoms and cardiac inflammation – with some also testing positive for COVID-19.

The warning advised that healthcare professionals should “refer patients as a matter of urgency if you encounter any children with these types of symptoms”.

Professor Simon Kenny, Clinical Director for Children and Young people at NHS England, said: “Thankfully Kawasaki-like diseases are very rare, as currently are serious complications in children related to Covid-19, but it is important that clinicians are made aware of any potential emerging links so that they are able to give children and young people the right care fast.

“The advice to parents remains the same: if you are worried about your child for whatever reason, contact NHS 111 or your family doctor for urgent advice, or 999 in an emergency, and if a professional tells you to go to hospital, please go to hospital.”

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As of yet, there are no confirmed links between Kawasaki and COVID-19.

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