April 27, 2020 | 8:32am | Updated April 27, 2020 | 11:17am
A serious coronavirus-related “inflammatory syndrome” is emerging among young people, according to a new report.
“[Over the] last three weeks, there has been an apparent rise in the number of children of all ages presenting with a multisystem inflammatory state requiring intensive care across London and also in other regions of the UK,” reads a “significant alert” issued to general practitioners in North London by the UK’s clinical commissioning group.
“There is a growing concern that a [COVID-19]- related inflammatory syndrome is emerging in children in the UK, or that there may be another, as yet unidentified, infectious pathogen associated with these cases,” continues the letter, which was first obtained by the Health Service Journal.
Those infected experience “overlapping features” of toxic syndrome and atypical Kawasaki disease — an illness that causes swelling and redness of the blood vessels — “with blood parameters consistent with severe COVID-19 in children,” according to the alert.
Children with the condition have also experienced stomach pain, gastrointestinal symptoms and cardiac inflammation, the notification says.
Some of the children have tested positive for COVID-19, and others appear to have had the virus in the past — though some have not.
The message, which has since been sent to doctors more widely and confirmed in a separate “urgent alert” issued Sunday night by the Pediatric Intensive Care Society, urged doctors to “please refer children presenting with these symptoms as a matter of urgency.”
The society called for “early discussion” of possible cases “with regional [pediatric] infectious disease and critical care teams.”
It’s unclear how widespread the condition has been, though a very small number of children are thought to be infected overall, pediatrics sources told the Journal.
As has been the case since the start of the outbreak, coronavirus generally causes relatively few severe effects or deaths in children, according to the report.