Children have been largely spared from the worst impacts of COVID-19 but now children around the world infected with the COVID-19 are developing new symptoms of a rare inflammatory disease. This highlights a new potential risk for children in the pandemic.
The symptoms developed are similar to the Kawasaki disease or toxic-shock syndrome. Kawasaki disease is a mysterious illness that primarily affects children up to the age of five. It causes the walls of arteries to become inflamed, resulting in fever and joint pain.
Though frightening, most recover without serious issues from the Kawasaki disease but with this new illness, some critically affected children are ending up in intensive care units with shock-like symptoms. New York has seen its first death from this rare illness caused by COVID-19.
A 5-year-old boy in New York has died from this inflammatory illness linked to COVID-19. Health officials are also investigating 73 similar cases reported across New York. All of these children have exhibited symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease when infected with COVID-19.
“While rare, we’re seeing some cases where children affected with the coronavirus can become ill with symptoms similar to the Kawasaki disease or toxic shock-like syndrome that literally causes inflammation in their blood vessels. This past Thursday, a five-year-old boy passed away from COVID-related complications. And the state department of health is investigating several other cases,” says New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
COVID-19 similar to the Kawasaki disease?
Some of the symptoms of both the diseases overlap in children but the mysterious illness in COVID-19 patients causes severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting than the Kawasaki disease. The Kawasaki disease also majorly impacts heart vessels but in the COVID-19 associated illness– only a few cases describe any vessel inflammation.
The age of the children affected by this mysterious illness is also not typical of the Kawasaki disease. Many children infected with this illness are above the age of 5.