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UK Government Says New Condition With Symptoms Of Kawasaki Disease Could Be Linked To Covid-19

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UK Government Says New Condition With Symptoms Of Kawasaki Disease Could Be Linked To Covid-19

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that some children in the UK who had no pre-existing health conditions have died from a rare inflammatory syndrome that some researchers believe could be linked to Covid-19.

Medical experts in Italy and Britain are currently investigating the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic is linked to numbers of infants who are presenting at hospital with swollen arteries and high fevers.

Doctors in the north of Italy, an area which has been among the worst affected by the global pandemic, have reported that they are seeing unusually large numbers of cases involving children with what appears to be Kawasaki disease, an illness more commonly seen in Asia.

Symptoms of Kawasaki disease. Credit: Shutterstock
Symptoms of Kawasaki disease. Credit: Shutterstock
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Hancock told LBC Radio: "There are some children who have died who didn't have underlying health conditions.

"It's a new disease that we think may be caused by coronavirus and the Covid-19 virus. We're not 100 percent sure - because some of the people who got it hadn't tested positive - so we're doing a lot of research now but it is something that we're worried about.

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

Kawasaki disease, as well as causing swollen arteries and high fevers, is often seen in children under the age of five and causes skin rashes, and swelling of the glands.

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Some evidence suggests that individuals can be predisposed to the condition inherently, but it is not clear if that is indicative of a pattern.

Kawasaki disease can cause swollen arteries. Credit: Shutterstock
Kawasaki disease can cause swollen arteries. Credit: Shutterstock

Conservative MP Victoria Atkins said that parents should know the signs of the disease and be vigilant to it.

Speaking to Sky News, she said: "It demonstrates just how fast-moving this virus is and how unprecedented it is in its effect."

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Professor Anne Rafferty, the president of the Royal College of Nursing, added: "Actually, there's far too little known about it and the numbers actually at the moment are really too small.

"But it is an alert, and it's something that's actually being explored and examined by a number of different researchers."

Reports from the Spanish Paediatric Association on Monday (27 April) also show some children testing positive for Covid-19 have then developed gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, but then developing within hours into shock tachycardia (accelerated heart beat) and hypotension (low blood pressure).

Skin problems are also a symptom of the disease. Credit: Shutterstock
Skin problems are also a symptom of the disease. Credit: Shutterstock
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Most were in school age or teenage minors and sometimes overlapped with Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome.

According to the NHS statistics, Kawasaki disease affects around eight out of every 100,000 children in the UK in a normal year.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: World News, uk news, Health

Tom Wood
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