What is Kawasaki disease, the rare condition with reported links to COVID-19 that is affecting children?

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A condition that affects only children and supposedly linked to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been reported in several countries across the world. The condition called Kawasaki Disease has been reported in nearly 100 children living in Britain, the United States, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, the Guardian reported.

United Kingdom’s NHS has reported that Kawasaki disease, an inflammatory disorder that affects the blood vessels, heart and other organs. So far, no fatalities have been reported.

Here are somethings you need to know about the disease

Affects children under five years

Most commonly seen in children between 0 and 5, the condition involves inflammation of the walls of the blood vessels, and in the process result in organ inflammation. The name comes from Japanese doctor Tomisaku Kawasaki who first reported it in the 1960s

What are the symptoms?

Children with Kawasaki disease have a high fever that lasts several days, rashes, bloodshot eyes, red or cracked lips, joint pain, pus, swollen hands and feet

Is it fatal?

If not treated earlier, the condition can result in damage of the coronary artery that can subsequently lead to a heart attack

Is it linked to coronavirus?

Officially, no. The Paediatric Intensive Care Society, UK, has issued a tweet speculating that there could be a link, but added that there “may be another as-yet-unidentified infectious pathogen associated with these cases”.

So far the world has seen over 3 million cases of coronavirus, with the US reporting 33 per cent of the world’s cases. Several counties are working to develop a vaccine, but nothing official has come out as yet. While some have said it will take another few months, others say it will take at least 18 months before the first vaccine is out in the market.

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