Bergamo, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy witnessed an almost 30-fold spike of severe inflammatory symptoms in children, as per a study in a city's hospital. The study also predicted an outbreak of Kawasaki-like in other countries affected by coronavirus pandemic.
The inflammation in children is mostly associated with the outbreak of Kawasaki like disease, according to a paper published on Wednesday in The Lancet journal, being one of the first studies in completely examining the increase of illness in children that causes inflammatory symptoms. Interestingly, some of these cases have also been tested positive for the novel coronavirus or its antibodies.
Around seven boys and three girls aged between five and seven got diagnosed with Kawasaki from mid-February to April 20, they were admitted to hospital on average, after six days of prolonged fever.
Strong connection to Coronavirus
The hospital where the study happened treated only about 19 patients in the last five years until this February for Kawasaki like symptoms. But, between this March and April, almost 10 such cases were admitted to the hospital, showing a spike in cases related to COVID-19.
Eight among the 19 children with the symptoms admitted since February tested positive for novel coronavirus antibodies. The researchers wrote that there is a "strong association between an outbreak of Kawasaki-like disease and the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic." The study's findings seemed to support the hypothesis that immune response to coronavirus infection is responsible for a Kawasaki-like disease. Researchers write, "In the past month we found a 30-fold increased incidence of Kawasaki-like disease"
Patients aged not more than 21, experienced what doctors are calling "pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome." There are many symptoms of the syndrome. However, these symptoms meet the criteria for Kawasaki disease, at least partially. They are:
Countries with coronavirus should expect Kawasaki
It was previously reported that New York saw the death of a five-year-old child due to Kawasaki like illness. Now, New York has 102 such cases and three deaths. Also, more than 50 such cases related to coronavirus were found throughout Europe, as reported in the New York Times, including in Switzerland, France, Britain and Spain.
Based on limited data, the researchers say that it is rare condition, affecting not more than one in 1,000 children who are exposed to COVID-19. In conclusion, the study expects a "similar outbreak of Kawasaki-like disease" in countries affected by the coronavirus outbreak.