More kids in US hospital with inflammatory syndrome ‘linked to coronavirus’ – The Sun

MORE children in the US have been hospitalised with the new “inflammatory syndrome” that could be linked to coronavirus.

Health officials recently warned of a new condition presenting in kids which has similar symptoms to toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and Kawasaki disease, an illness that causes inflammation to the heart.

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And hospitals in New York City yesterday reported that they have treated 15 children that have shown symptoms of the mysterious illness.

In particular, a letter from the New York City Health Department revealed that the children ranged from two to 15-years-old – and all developed a fever.

More than half of the children also developed a rash, abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhoea, while respiratory symptoms were reported in less than half of these patients.

While five of the kids with the condition needed mechanical ventilation to help them breathe, none of the children passed away.

Professor Demetre Daskalakis, Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Disease Control at New York City Health Department, is now urging doctors to look out for the inflammatory syndrome.

'Long-term complications'

In the letter to his colleagues, he wrote: "If the above-described inflammatory syndrome is suspected, paediatricians should immediately refer patients to a specialist in paediatric infectious disease, rheumatology, and/or critical care, as indicated.

"Early diagnosis and treatment of patients meeting full or partial criteria for Kawasaki disease is critical to preventing end-organ damage and other long-term complications."

The Paediatric Intensive Care Society issued an alert to the NHS last month revealing that there had been a rise in children needing intensive care.

They told GPs: "There is growing concern that a [Covid-19] related inflammatory syndrome is emerging.

"Please refer children presenting with these symptoms as a matter of urgency."

Signs to watch out for

Health chiefs said in an alert to GPs the signs include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms – like vomiting and diarrhoea

The mysterious condition has been compared to toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and Kawasaki disease.

The signs of TSS are:

  • High temperature
  • Flu-like symptoms, like headache, feeling cold, aches, sore throat and cough
  • Feeling and being sick
  • Diarrhoea
  • Widespread burn-like rash
  • Lips, tongue, and whites of the eyes turning bright red
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion

Signs of Kawasaki disease include:

  • A rash
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Dry, cracked lips
  • Red fingers or toes
  • Red eyes

Currently, doctors and infectious disease experts are still learning about the condition because it is still very new.

Dr Daniel Atkinson, clinical lead at told The Sun it’s an “autoimmune reaction similar to toxic shock syndrome (TSS)”.

TSS is where bacteria gets into the body and releases harmful toxins that cause a temperature and flu-like symptoms, as well as nausea and vomiting and a loss of consciousness in severe cases.

The new condition has also been likened to Kawasaki disease, which causes inflammation to the heart and can lead to aneurysms, heart attack and heart disease.

In rare cases patients with Kawasaki disease can suffer internal bleeding if an aneurysm bursts.

Heart complications

Around 25 per cent of cases go on to experience heart complications, which can result in fatality in about two to three per cent of cases, if not treated.

Hospitals say they have been treating youngsters "of all ages" with the mystery condition.

Some, but not all kids with signs of this new condition have tested positive for coronavirus.

But, it’s not yet clear if there is a direct link with Covid-19.

Public Health England are investigating, as NHS England’s medical director Prof Stephen Powis said: “It is really too early to say whether there is a link.”

England’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof Chris Whitty added: “This is a very rare situation, but I think it is entirely plausible that it is caused by this virus, at least in some cases.”

Dr Atkinson told The Sun in some cases patients with Covid-19 do suffer a “severe, post inflammatory response”, where the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue.

He added: “This could, in theory lead to an exacerbation of the inflammation we see in Kawasaki disease.

“But again, because we’ve only just started to see these cases and they’re still relatively rare, we don’t know for sure.”

The reassuring news is that this new inflammatory syndrome is very rare.

It’s thought to have affected between 20 to 30 kids in the UK, with around 12 needing intensive care treatment.

It is rare, although it is very significant for children who do get it

Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted he was "very worried" about the new wave of cases putting children in intensive care.

He said: "It's a new disease that we think may be caused by coronavirus.

"We're not 100 per cent sure because some of the people who got it hadn't tested positive, so we're doing a lot of research now.

"It is rare, although it is very significant for children who do get it; the number of cases is small."

If you are worried your child could be suffering from the symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice, as soon as possible.

Contact your GP or call NHS 111.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of, told The Sun: "The NHS is very much open for business.

"If you have a child who is seriously unwell, you should call an ambulance – your child is much better off in hospital if they’re seriously unwell."


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