U.K. Warns of Possible Coronavirus-Linked Kawasaki Disease in Kids

British health authorities warned doctors over a growing number of children with a “multi-system inflammatory state” that could be linked to the coronavirus, while reassuring people any complications related to Covid-19 for children appeared rare.

The alert, posted on Twitter by the U.K. Paediatric Intensive Care Society and verified by a spokeswoman for the National Health Service, said there had been an increase in the number of children presenting the symptoms over the last three weeks, with some needing intensive care treatment. Abdominal pain, gastrointestinal problems and cardiac inflammation — consistent with toxic shock syndrome and atypical Kawasaki disease — are among the symptoms appearing, according to the NHS alert.

There is growing concern that a “SARS-CoV-2 related inflammatory syndrome” may be emerging in children or that there may be another “as-yet unidentified infectious pathogen,” the NHS notice said. “Over 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 U.K.”

Simon Kenny, NHS national clinical director for children and young people, said in a statement in response to media inquiries that these kinds of diseases are rare and guidance for parents is unchanged.

“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,” said Kenny.

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