A mysterious disease in children has been reported in Los Angeles children hospital where three children were found positive for Coronavirus antibodies, once they were tested, after having displayed symptoms of Kawasaki disease, which has only 6000 reported patients in US.
Kawasaki disease causes inflammation of blood vessels in young children, the most common cause of heart disease in kids. The symptoms, Dr. Jacqueline Szmuszkovicz said, include a high, persistent fever; swollen hands and feet; red, cracked lips; a red tongue; and red eyes. Dr. Szmuszkovicz is a pediatric cardiologist in Children Hospital LA.
She added that the presence of these antibodies in kids meant that the children had been affected earlier by Covid-19 and that efforts are underway to establish connection between Kawasaki disease and Covid-19.
Previously doctors in the UK also reported a rare PIMS (Pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome) in kids, for which NHS issued an urgent alert to the intensive care units. Although the cases reported were less than 20, the number could rise if untreated. Dr. Nazima Pathan, a consultant in Pediatric Intesive care in Cambridge informed that Italy and Spain too, besides UK had reported such cases. Septic shock type illness, rashes and inflammation of blood vessels as in Kawasaki disease were the symptoms, according to her.
New York City is concerned about Kawasaki and Covid-19
New York City Health Department also issued a health alert regarding the same complication. This pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome was characterized by “persistent fever and features of Kawasaki disease and/or toxic shock syndrome; abdominal symptoms common” as mentioned in the advisory.
The health alert issued by the Deputy Commissioner NYC Health Dept office further went on to suggest that “cases may require intensive care unit admission for cardiac and/or respiratory support” and “early recognition and specialist referral are essential, including to critical care if warranted”. The alert was issued on 4th of May, a few days before LA reported similar cases.
New York City hospital treated 15 children of ages 2 to 15 who were either found positive for Covid-19, or if negative, they had antibodies present, indicating recovery from Covid-19.
The rising cases and unsolved mystery of the relationship of the novel coronavirus and Kawasaki disease is making things worse for the suffering children and their parents, along with making the diagnosis and treatment complicated for the doctors. Doctors are optimistic about getting over the unexpected situation, but the timeline can not be defined as still not much is known about Covid-19.