According to a story from abc7.com, a recent case study has identified what scientists believe to be the earliest case of a pediatric COVID-19 patient presenting with symptoms of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, which presents very similarly to Kawasaki disease. The patient in question is a six month old girl named Zara, who is from the Bay Area and first tested positive for the virus on March 16th.
About Kawasaki Disease
Kawasaki disease is a form of vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation) that generally affects children who are less than five years old. Though it is potentially lethal, most cases resolve in around three weeks. The cause of Kawasaki disease is not completely understood, but is believed to be an autoimmune disease that is triggered by an infection. However, this reaction only appears in people with a genetic predisposition. Symptoms of the illness may include a fever (lasting more than five days and not responsive to medication), irritability, conjunctivitis, swelling and redness affecting the hands and feet, bleeding, red lips, rash, red tongue, diarrhea, sore throat, and coronary artery aneurysm. Most diagnosed children are admitted to the hospital; standard treatments include steroids and intravenous immunoglobulin, sometimes in combination with aspirin. A small number of patients develop more serious complications and rarely the illness may relapse after treatment. To learn more about Kawasaki disease, click here.
An Unexpected Complication
Though it appears to be a very rare complication of COVID-19, a number of child cases from New York and the UK have reported symptoms consistent with this disease, and some of them have died as a result. Researchers are still working to confirm if Zara’s condition is the same as what has been reported and recorded elsewhere.
The occurrences of these symptoms in children demonstrate another way in which the coronavirus has continued to take the scientific community by surprise. A new virus like the coronavirus is capable of causing unusual reactions that are not necessarily found in related infections. This is another factor that makes COVID-19 more dangerous than it may first appear.
Many states have been implementing plans to reopen certain business operations despite the fact that they have failed to meet federal guidelines to do so safely. Therefore, these actions have the potential to increase the rate of infections and deaths. Regardless of what your state’s plan of action is, we encourage all readers to maintain social distancing, wear a mask in public, and stay at home as much as possible. It is clear that there is still a lot we don’t understand about the coronavirus and the best thing you can do to stay safe is avoid infection as best as you can.