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Should I be worried about the news coming out of Britain associating Coronavirus with a rare inflammatory syndrome?

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Last week, Britain’s Paediatric Intensive Care Society issued a warning that they are seeing an increase in children with symptoms that are similar to those seen in a rare inflammatory condition called Kawasaki disease and they suspect Coronavirus may be a cause. Cases have also been reported in Spain, Italy and the US, but Dr. Brad Segal, a physician who treated a patient at Stanford, believes this will be “exceedingly uncommon.”  The WHO is still in the process of gathering information to see if there is truly a link so there is very little information available, but there are now of course studies underway. 

Kawasaki disease includes fevers for at least 5 days and four of the five following symptoms: rash, red eyes, swollen glands, swollen red tongue, and redness and swelling of the hands. Along with those symptoms, the walls of the blood vessels become inflamed, so special treatment is needed. 

In these new cases, the symptoms are occuring weeks into recovery from the virus and thus it is thought that the inflammation is caused by a late immune reaction to COVID-19. The condition has been seen in kids who tested positive for COVID-19 and those who have not, which is likely because the child is no longer actively infected. If your child has already had coronavirus, while there is a very small chance that they could develop this complication, remember that there are generally effective treatments. 

For now, the bottom line is that if your child develops high fevers and a rash, do as you normally would and call your pediatrician for advice! (May 5, 2020)