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The ‘Boogeyman’ Of Pediatrics: What Is Kawasaki Disease And Is It Linked To The Coronavirus?

Discussion in 'Pediatrics' started by Mahmoud Abudeif, May 6, 2020.

  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

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    Symptoms of a rare inflammatory condition have been identified in at least 15 children in New York City hospitals, alarming pediatricians across the country and raising concerns about a possible link to the coronavirus.

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    The patients exhibited symptoms typically seen in Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome, including a persistent fever, according to the city’s health department.

    The children were between 2 and 15 years old and were identified between April 29 and May 3. While all the patients had a fever, more than half of them reported a rash, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea.

    In an alert issued to doctors, the NYC health department said less than half of the patients exhibited respiratory symptoms. Four of the cases tested positive for COVID-19, while 11 tested negative.

    No deaths have been reported, but many of the patients required blood pressure support and five of them required mechanical ventilation, the city’s health department said.

    Both Kawasaki disease and COVID-19 are illusive conditions that doctors are still studying. Some experts doubt there’s a link between the two while others don’t believe the mysterious symptoms belong to Kawasaki at all.

    What is Kawasaki disease?

    “Kawasaki disease is one of the great mysteries in pediatrics,” said Dr. Frank Esper, a physician at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases. “It’s something we’ve been dealing with for decades.”

    Symptoms include a fever of at least 101 degrees that lasts for five days or more, a rash and swollen glands in the neck, according to Britain’s National Health Service.

    Esper says that it predominately affects children between the ages of 2 and 6, tends to run during “mini-epidemics,” and is more likely to happen in the winter than the summer.

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