Rare syndrome in children might be connected with COVID-19: experts

Rare syndrome in children might be connected with COVID-19, experts warn

Given that COVID-19 is a new disease, there’s still a lot to be learned about the condition, posing a host of challenges for scientists and researchers. It’s for this reason that those in the frontlines remain vigilant of new developments, the latest of which revolves around children and a rare syndrome.

U.K. pediatrics specialists are seeing small but gradually increasing cases in children where the symptoms include toxic shock and ones that are associated with Kawasaki disease. At the moment, it’s still unclear whether COVID-19 and this disease are related, CNN reported.

Only some of the children who’s been showing signs of the unusual symptoms tested positive for the novel coronavirus. However, health officials are closely monitoring the situation lest it goes south.

Immune system going overdrive

Rare syndrome in children might be connected with COVID-19, experts warn

Britain experts have already reported 10-20 of such cases. Additionally, Spain’s Association of Pediatrics is echoing similar warnings as young children have been manifesting “an unusual picture of abdominal pain, accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms.”

But again, the challenging part here is that these symptoms are being observed on patients who are both positive and negative of SARS-CoV-2. One of the suspicions is that this inflammatory response may be caused by the body’s immune system going into overdrive.

“However, our understanding of this condition in children is limited,” admitted Professor Rosalind Smyth, director, and professor of child health, UCL Great Ormond St Institute of Child Health. “Covid-19 does present, in adults, as an inflammatory disease affecting a number of organs. We should investigate fully these children, with SARS-CoV-2, who present with a multi-system inflammatory disease to assess whether this is a presentation of Covid-19.”

Children least affected by COVID-19

Experts are urging parents to bring their children to the hospital should these symptoms arise so that they could remain on top of the matter. The good news is that children remain one of the least affected groups by the novel coronavirus.

In China, less than three percent of the 75,000 cases have been children. And those who have been infected only suffered mild symptoms. In the U.S., this group only accounts for less than one percent of the overall cases with no fatality reported so far. Prof Russell Viner, the president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, advises parents to remain vigilant and to avoid panicking.

“New diseases may present in ways that surprise us, and clinicians need to be made aware of any emerging evidence of particular symptoms or of underlying conditions which could make a patient more vulnerable to the virus. However, our advice remains the same: parents should be reassured that children are unlikely to be seriously ill with Covid-19, but if they are concerned about their children’s health for any reason they should seek help from a health professional.”

Photos Courtesy of Unsplash

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