Health officials in the UK are trying to establish whether there is a link between the coronavirus pandemic and a serious illness recently affecting a small number of children, Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday.
Lots of research
This recently appeared disease resembles Kawasaki disease, a vascular syndrome affecting young children, the cause of which remains unknown.
According to the regional daily La Dépêche du Midi, around twenty similar cases have been identified in the Paris region.
“This is a new disease which we believe can be caused by the coronavirus,” said Matt Hancock on LBC radio.
“We are not 100% sure because some of the people who contracted it have not tested positive (for coronavirus). So we are currently doing a lot of research. But that is something that concerns us”, he added.
The minister said there were “a small number of cases”.
“Quite plausible that it was due to the virus”
“It is a very rare disease, but I think it is entirely plausible that it is due to this virus, at least in certain cases” declared on Monday the chief of health services, Chris Whitty, at the time of the government’s daily coronavirus press conference.
The British pediatric intensive care company (PICS) relayed an alert from the British public health service, NHS England, on Monday concerning a small increase in the number of cases of critically ill children, some with Covid-19, others not. . Their syndromes were similar to those of Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.
Symptoms in young patients include abdominal pain, gastrointestinal upset, and heart inflammation.
No history or chronic illness
Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), recalled that there was a low probability that children with coronavirus would become seriously ill.
“We know that a very small number of children can become seriously ill with Covid-19, but it is very rare,” he said, noting that “children seem to be among the least affected population.” by this infection. “
In the Paris region, “these are children who are between 2 and 10 years old, who have no notable history, and no chronic disease”, specifies in this daily doctor Isabelle Kone Paut, professor of pediatric rheumatology at the Kremlin-Bicêtre hospital in Paris.
An alert taken “very seriously”
“For the past month, we have been receiving regular resuscitation calls for children with severe myocarditis and who also have signs of Kawasaki disease, some of whom have tested positive for covid-19”, continues this specialist.
“This is an alert that we take very seriously in France, we are sending a signal, we must be vigilant,” said Professor Alexandre Belot, a rheumatologist and pediatrician at the Mother and Child Hospital in Lyon.
“There is no evidence today to establish a link between Kawasaki disease and covid-19 but we find that children tested positive for covid-19 develop symptoms that correspond to those of Kawasaki disease as unstable tension and myocarditis for severe forms “, adds Mr. Belot, also a researcher at Inserm.