Pediatric doctors in the United Kingdom have said that there’s a rising group of children who have become ill with a rare syndrome that might be linked to the coronavirus.

What’s going on:

  • According to The Guardian, at least 12 children in the UK needed intensive care due to a toxic shock syndrome. Some of these children have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • As CNN reports, Paediatric Intensive Care Society UK (PICS) warned that there is a small rise in critically-ill children who have symptoms with “overlapping features of toxic shock syndrome and atypical Kawasaki disease with blood parameters.”
  • PICS said “abdominal pain and gastrointestinal symptoms have been a common feature as has cardiac inflammation.”
  •  Sanjay Patel, who works for Southampton Children’s Hospital in England, told BBC Radio 4′s “Today Program” that the illness is similar to sepsis, according to CNBC.
  • Patel said: “Over the last few years there’s been a huge narrative about sepsis, parents are on the lookout for cold hands and feet, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and it presents similarly to that,” he said. “These children will end up in hospital, frontline doctors will initially treat this as sepsis and these children initially don’t improve with antibiotics. It’s at that point that more investigations suggest this is an inflammatory condition that requires immune modulating treatment such as steroids and other drugs.”

What is Kawasaki disease?

  • Most of these children have Kawasaki disease.
  • Kawasaki disease is a childhood illness that can cause blood vessel walls to become inflamed.
  • According to CNN, Kawasaki symptoms can “include a high temperature lasting for five days or longer, alongside a rash, swollen glands in the neck, dry cracked lips, red fingers or toes and red eyes.”