KESQ: Mysterious illness among children could be linked to COVID-19

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Published: 12:13 pm

A mysterious illness that has been linked to dozens of children in the United States is raising concern. On Saturday, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the illness caused 3 children to die.

In many cases, children did not have respiratory issues. Instead, experts said symptoms were similar to a rare disease known as Kawasaki Disease. Symptoms include fever, rash, swelling of the hands and feet, and can even lead to inflamed coronary arteries.

Hospitals in at least 6 states, including California, have reported seeing similar cases.

Experts also said many of these children have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have it’s antibodies.

“We haven’t seen any pediatric patients with Kawasaki symptoms but we’ve had pediatric COVID patients and generally they just have a cold or they’re a little bit sick and they get better,” Eisenhower Health Emergency Medical Director, Dr. Euthym Kontaxis said.

Dr. Kontaxis said infants tend to be more at risk than older children and teenagers. He said the symptoms often show up in more serious cases.

“I don’t think there’s evidence that its mutated significantly since our initial evaluation, but I think what we’re doing is with all these cases, we’re seeing the spectrum of how it presents and it’s not a classic presentation,” Dr. Kontaxis said.

It’s unclear whether the illness and COVID-19 have a direct link.

“We are still short on really good information about this illness and we don’t know everything and so it’s evolving as time goes on and I think everybody just needs to be aware of that,” Dr. Kontaxis said.

Parents are still advised to be vigilant if they suspect their child is sick.

“I think parents in general should realize that children are susceptible to COVID-19 virus infections and to look for signs that they’re not doing well, they’re having difficulty breathing, they develop a big rash or they have trouble feeding– all the same things we warn parents about with regular illnesses,” Dr. Kontaxis said.