COVID-19 and inflammation in children: professor urges caution over possible link

Atypical Kawasaki shock syndrome may have various causes – infectious disease expert 

Picture: SPL

A scientist is urging caution about linking COVID-19 to an emerging toxic shock-style inflammatory syndrome in children.

Brighton and Sussex Medical School emeritus professor of infectious diseases, Jon Cohen, issued the warning after a study found eight children who presented to hospital with symptoms of toxic-shock syndrome also tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

‘The clinical syndrome described, that of atypical Kawasaki shock syndrome, or toxic-shock syndrome, can be precipitated by various stimuli and it is conceivable this cluster was caused not by COVID but as a result of some other infective or non-infective stimulus,’ he said.

‘This is indeed a new, but thankfully rare, clinical syndrome.’

Global call for vigilence over rare inflammatory reaction in children

The study came after a call from the World Health Organization asked its global network of clinicians to be on alert for the rare phenomenon that causes a toxic shock-style inflammatory reaction.

The alert followed news that UK clinicians noticed the syndrome emerging in some hospitalised children who were also infected with coronavirus.

As a result, the Paediatric Intensive Care Society told nurses to inform paediatric critical care teams if a child presents with an unusual clinical picture consistent with COVID-19 symptoms.

Read more

The Lancet – Hyperinflammatory shock in children during COVID-19 pandemic 

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