Officials across the world are searching for answers after a mysterious illness has emerged that seems to be affecting children, and may possibly be linked to coronavirus.
The condition responsible for hospitalising hundreds of children is being called “pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome” by doctors. Health officials now believe the condition may in some way be linked to coronavirus.
Three children in New York passed away due to the mysterious condition.
Pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome does not present similar symptoms to coronavirus, instead the symptoms are similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.
Symptoms include a high temperature lasting for over five days, rash, swollen neck glands, swelling of hands and feet, cracked lips and redness of both eyes.
Infections are most common in children under the age of five and while it can be deadly, the condition is also treatable.
Toxic shock syndrome on the other hand is caused by toxins produced by different forms of staphylococcus bacteria. Symptoms include fever, shock and problems with a number of organs in the body.
According to pediatrician Dr. Glenn Budnick speaking to CNN, the difference in the symptoms of this new condition could be due to it being a second phase of the coronavirus
“Your immune system is overreacting to the virus, and because these are inflammatory diseases, this overreaction can cause a Kawasaki-like disease,” said Budnick.
According to the New York state’s health department following a study of 85 children with the condition, most tested positive for coronavirus or had positive antibody tests.
In Seattle, a case involving a healthy teenager had been reported. The teen developed shock symptoms and had to be kept in the ICU. More cases were reported in California as well.
The cases seem to be ramping up on an international level with some recorded in the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy.
The advice of officials
Officials say the condition is still a developing situation but vigilance is being encouraged. Health departments are in the process of developing criteria so healthcare professionals know what to look for.
A genome and RNA sequencing study is being conducted to better understand the mysterious disease.
The risk is especially high during these trying times and health officials feel the impression that children are not affected by COVID-19 may no longer be a fact.