Doctors' urgent warning over new ‘coronavirus-related syndrome’ emerging among children

A coronavirus-related syndrome among children may be emerging in the UK, a health alert sent to doctors suggests.

Monday, 27th April 2020, 1:01 pm
Updated Monday, 27th April 2020, 1:05 pm

The UK Paediatric Intensive Care Society (PICS) tweeted an alert it said was from NHS England which says in the "last three weeks, there has been an apparent rise in the number of children of all ages presenting with a multi-system inflammatory state requiring intensive care across London and also in other regions of the UK".

It said the effects had been seen in both children with and without coronavirus but there was evidence that some patients had had coronavirus previously.

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Children display signs similar to toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a severe illness associated with infections, and have blood markers in line with severe Covid-19 in children, the alert states.

They may also have abdominal pain and symptoms of inflammation around the heart.

The alert says: "There is a growing concern that a SARS CoV-2 (Covid-19)-related inflammatory syndrome is emerging in children in the UK, or that there may be another, as yet unidentified, infectious pathogen associated with these cases."

The alert talks about atypical Kawasaki disease, a condition that mainly affects children under the age of five.

Worries are growing over a "coronavirus-related syndrome" emerging in children. Photo: PA.

Symptoms include a high temperature that lasts for five days or more, often with a rash and/or swollen glands in the neck.

NHS England stressed there was no confirmed connection between Kawasaki-related diseases and Covid-19.

Professor Simon Kenny, the NHS's national clinical director for children and young people, 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."

According to the NHS, children are contracting Covid-19 at the same rate as adults but are suffering less severe symptoms on the whole.

However, children have died, including 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab from Brixton, who passed away at King's College Hospital in London at the end of March.

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