What is Kawasaki disease and is it linked to coronavirus?

29 April 2020, 12:44

Kawasaki disease usually affects children under five - but what is it?
Kawasaki disease usually affects children under five - but what is it? Picture: Getty/PA

By Zoe Adams

Symptoms and signs of Kawasaki disease to look out for in children as a possible link with coronavirus emerges.

Kawasaki disease and a link with coronavirus in children is currently being investigated following a rise in hospital cases.

Symptoms, including a rash and flu-like signs, are key signals of the disease which also includes “multi-system inflammation”.

Coronavirus in children: What are the symptoms of the new, potential syndrome?

Following a rise of cases in hospitals, not only in the UK, some of the children have been tested for coronavirus also with a few of the cases testing positive. However, a link between the two illnesses is not confirmed at this moment.

So what is Kawasaki disease? What are the signs and symptoms? And how is it linked to Covid-19? Here’s what we know:

Coronavirus: Experts are examining if there's a link between Kawasaki and Covid-19
Coronavirus: Experts are examining if there's a link between Kawasaki and Covid-19. Picture: PA

What is Kawasaki disease and what causes it?

Kawasaki disease, as stated by the NHS website, is a condition which mainly affects children under five.

Always treated in hospital, it’s advised the quicker you react the better to avoid further complications. Treatment lasts a few weeks but it can take longer in some children.

The NHS explains the cause of Kawasaki disease isn’t fully understood, but a child may be more likely to develop it if they inherit certain genes from parents.

What are the signs and symptoms of Kawasaki disease?

Symptoms to watch out for are a rash, swollen neck glands, dry and cracked lips, red fingers or toes and red eyes.

How is Kawasaki disease linked to coronavirus?

At the moment, no link between Covid-19 and Kawasaki disease has been made.

Hospitals in Italy and UK have observed an increase in cases of vascular inflammation in the past month with only some of these cases testing positive for coronavirus too.

Investigations between the two illnesses will continue but there are no connections at the moment.

Health experts are continuing to stress very few children become seriously ill with coronavirus.

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