Coronavirus: Children affected by rare Kawasaki-like disease

(BBC) – Scores of UK and US children have been affected by a rare inflammatory disease linked to coronavirus.

In a tiny number of children it can cause serious complications, with some needing intensive care.

Up to 100 children in the UK have been affected and studies suggest the same reaction is being seen in children elsewhere in Europe.

It is likely to be caused by a delayed immune response to the virus which looks like Kawasaki disease.

In April, NHS doctors were told to look out for a rare but dangerous reaction in children.

This was prompted by eight children becoming ill in London, including a 14-year-old who died.

They all had similar symptoms when they were admitted to Evelina London Children’s Hospital, including a high fever, rash, red eyes, swelling and general pain.

Most of the children had no major lung or breathing problems, although seven were put on a ventilator to help improve heart and circulation issues.

Doctors are describing it as a “new phenomenon” similar to Kawasaki disease shock syndrome – a rare condition that mainly affects children under the age of five. Symptoms include a rash, swollen glands in the neck and dry and cracked lips.

But this new syndrome is also affecting older children up to the age of 16, with a minority experiencing serious complications.

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