Thursday, May 14, 2020
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Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome symptoms ‘may be linked to coronavirus’

The new coronavirus-related illness has three key symptoms, and is similar to Kawasaki Disease and toxic shock syndrome, according to an alert sent to doctors.

The alert to doctors said: “The cases have in common overlapping features of toxic shock syndrome and atypical Kawasaki Disease with blood parameters consistent with severe COVID-19 in children.”

The illness may or may not be related to coronavirus, and is believed to have affected at least 12 children across the UK so far.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s national medical director said it was ‘too early to say’ whether there’s a link between the illness and coronavirus.

The children had symptoms similar to toxic shock syndrome and a condition known as Kawasaki disease, where kids experience abdominal pain, gastrointestinal symptoms and cardiac inflammation.

ANU professor Peter Collignon, an infectious disease physician and microbiologist, said scientists needed to know more about why kids under 15 got the mystery inflammatory condition and whether there was a link with COVID-19.

We do need to study these children because we still don’t understand why children seem to get this [COVID-19] infection so much less than adults, but also why some people are getting these unusual reactions,” he said.

Professor Collignon said understanding what was going on in children was vital in the quest to find a vaccine that would work well for all ages.

“We have to learn from places [like the UK], where it’s more common, and use the information to make the best and most effective vaccines that are both safe and work.”

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