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Covid’s Kawasaki symptoms

Date: 07 July 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous


Around the world, children with Covid-19 infection have often shown some symptoms similar to those associated with a rare illness called Kawasaki disease.



Symptoms such as inflammation and rashes have been found but others are absent. Such symptoms have also shown in children who tested negative for Covid-19.



The first such cases started getting reported since April, from the US and Europe. The World Health Organization (WHO) termed this new illness “multisystem inflammatory disorder”.


Kawasaki disease

  • It affects children. Its symptoms include red eyes, rashes, and a swollen tongue with reddened lips — often termed strawberry tongue — and an inflamed blood vessel system all over the body. There is a constant high fever for at least five days. The disease also affects coronary functions in the heart.

  • The disease derives its name from a Japanese pediatrician, Tomisaku Kawasaki, who reported the first case in 1961 and later found similar cases in other children. 

  • What causes Kawasaki disease is not yet known but it is an immunological reaction to an infection or a virus. A child’s immunity system responds to a particular infection and develops these symptoms.

  • Children with Covid-19 are mostly asymptomatic or develop mild symptoms. It has been in rare cases that children with Covid-19 have shown symptoms similar to those of Kawasaki disease, 2-3 weeks after getting infected with coronavirus.

  • Kawasaki typically affects children aged under five. In Covid-19 cases, even adolescents are presenting these symptoms.

  • While Kawasaki involves coronary changes, this has not been the case with all COVID-19-positive children with Kawasaki-like symptoms.

  • Steroids remain a key treatment to reduce inflammation. India is not maintaining any registry on Kawasaki-like disease or multisystem inflammatory syndrome to know how many children have it along with Covid-19.

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