The US and Europe have reported a number of cases of the pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, resulting in a few deaths.
Rabat – Medical experts state there is strong evidence to believe that an inflammatory pediatric illness affecting children in multiple countries is linked to COVID-19.
Health officials have reported cases of the condition, called pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, among children in the United States and Europe. So far, there are 100 confirmed cases of the disease in New York, resulting in 3 deaths. Cases have also emerged across other states.
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said they will soon issue an alert to track the pediatric virus.
Today, a 9-year-old boy in France who tested positive for COVID-19 died from the mysterious disease. France has reported 125 cases between March 1 and May 12. Switzerland, Spain, and the UK have also reported cases.
Doctors are comparing the syndrome to a rare condition that typically occurs in children under the age of five called Kawasaki disease. However, doctors also cite reasons to believe that inflammatory syndrome is unique.
Unlike Kawaski disease, the average age for patients with the syndrome is 7.5 and cases are occurring at a higher rate than Kawaski typically does.
Doctors in Italy published a study on May 13 on the presumed Kawaski cases based on their findings at the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo province. The researchers concluded that the disease exhibits symptoms distinct from Kawaski and is likely linked to COVID-19.
At the Italian hospital, located in the epicenter of Italy’s COVID-19 outbreak, 10 children received treatment for Kawasaki-like symptoms between February 18 and April 20. The number is unusually high compared to the 19 cases seen between January 2015 and mid-February 2020.
Symptoms of the new syndrome include fever, a swollen tongue, severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and shock.
Doctors maintain that the condition is rare, but suggest that the recent influx in cases is driven by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Health officials have asserted that COVID-19, considerably more dangerous for patients with underlying conditions or weak immune systems and of an older age, was less of a threat to young people.
Some pediatricians now believe that the virus is surfacing as a delayed response to the infection.
“The symptoms in children are different from adults with COVID-19 in whom the illness is more of a respiratory condition,” said Dr. George Ofori-Amanfo, division chief of Pediatric Critical Care at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, New York.
Ofori-Amanfo said all of the children he has seen with the syndrome had antibodies for the novel coronavirus and none had any underlying condition.