Kawasaki-like Illness Among Children Infected With COVID-19

Kawasaki-like Illness Among Children Infected With COVID-19

As a parent, it’s not easy going through the coronavirus pandemic. What’s worse, there is a set of symptoms resembling Kawasaki disease that was found to be associated with COVID-19.

As Kawasaki disease is not that common among the paediatric population, the thought of your child getting affected by the unknown can really put you downright scared.

This article would educate you on Kawasaki disease and whether or not you should worry.

A paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome 

Although Kawasaki disease is not a common ailment, it is usually diagnosed among children who are younger than 5 years old.

Its pathological consequences cause blood vessels to become inflamed which can progress to heart damage if they are not treated properly.

Although there have been reports about a set of symptoms which resemble Kawasaki disease, experts now know both of them are two different diseases.

It was dubbed as a multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). 

According to Dr Elizabeth Murray, a paediatrician from a hospital in Rochester, New York, MIS-C caused by the action of the child’s immune system towards COVID-19.

It’s not caused by the infection per se hence it is not contagious. It’s quite different from Kawasaki disease.

As children respond quite differently from the adult while being infected, they rarely become seriously ill as a consequence of the infection itself.

Be that as it may, identifying and putting infected children in quarantine can do wonders in terms of controlling infection rate as they are bound, most of the time, to be a silent carrier.

How common is MIS-C? Is It similar to how common Kawasaki disease is?

kawasaki disease

Most of the children who were diagnosed with MIS-C are those who are being treated in the United State.

As the news circulated among the public, you might be worried if your baby is going to show symptoms if they are affected by COVID-19.

After all, compared to a 3 years old child, a baby’s immune system is still immature.

Looking at the numbers, in New York, there are approximately 110 cases of MIS-C.

35% of them are younger than 4 years old, 25% are between 5 to 9 years old, 24% are 10 to 14 years old and the remaining 16% are between 15 to 21 years old.

There is no telling regarding the risk of your baby getting infected by the virus based on the small and limited data, there is no common denominator that can be identified yet.

The recorded distribution is quite different from Kawasaki disease. Hence, postulating both of them to carry the same risk is unjustifiable.

However, experts are currently working on the statistic and every single MIS-C case that was diagnosed would be recorded.

The best thing that you can do right now is to take every precautionary step to ensure that your child is protected from COVID-19.

It can be difficult when trying to figure out MIS-C symptoms

kawasaki disease

Identifying MIS-C based on its symptoms can be quite challenging even for the most skilful diagnostician.

After all, this particular manifestation is quite new and most experts are quite unfamiliar with them.

However, if your children are showing the following symptoms (similar to Kawasaki disease), you should consult a doctor just to be on the safe side. 

  • Prolonged fever (5 days or more)
  • Eye irritation
  • Rash
  • Swollen hand or feet
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and stomach ache

It’s not easy trying to discern what’s normal and what’s not. The only thing that you need to focus on is something that can be objectively evaluated.

As someone who is not really familiar with symptoms, you should be when it comes to fever.

Dr Murray has encouraged parents to watch out for prolonged fever. The most reasonable step is to bring your child to a doctor.

However, you shouldn’t be too worried if your children are displaying any one of the listed symptoms.

Most of them can also be experienced by children who are affected by other conditions such as allergy.

However, don’t be afraid to bring your children to a hospital if they are experiencing symptoms which are unexplainable in every possible way known to you.

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