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Image / Editorial

Seven Irish children are being investigated for an inflammatory disease possibly linked to Covid-19

by Edaein OConnell
16th May 2020

The cases of seven Irish children are being investigated for a Kawasaki-like inflammatory disease that has possible links to Covid-19

The country’s Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan has said seven children are being investigated for links to the Kawasaki-like inflammatory syndrome associated with Covid-19.

The symptoms of the syndrome are consistent with that of a rare condition called Kawasaki disease. It’s also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome and mainly affects children under the age of five. Symptoms include a rash, swollen glands, dry cracked lips, red fingers or toes or red eyes.

The World Health Organisation has said it is studying a possible link between the inflammatory illness and Covid-19. In recent weeks, several countries have reported seeing a rise in “multi-system inflammatory syndrome” cases similar to Kawasaki disease.

WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing, “Initial reports hypothesise that this syndrome may be related to Covid-19…It is critical to urgently and carefully characterise this clinical syndrome, to understand causality and to describe treatment interventions,”

Similar cases

In France, a doctor said that a nine-year-old boy there who had tested positive for Covid-19 had died from the syndrome. Similar cases are also being investigated in both London and New York. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said three children in the state had died and over 100 cases were being inspected.

CMO Tony Holohan told a briefing last night that the advice given by the WHO is mainly aimed at the clinicians. An alert had been raised by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and medical staff were to be informed by authorities.

He also said it is a “very rare” condition affecting about 15 in 100,000 children.

Up to seven children in Ireland are being investigated for links to the disease, but the cases happened over some time. He warned calling them suspect would be “stretching things” and they were occurrences where doctors considered it a possible diagnosis.

For more information on Covid-19 and other other health issues please visit the HSE website.

Read more: Laura Whitmore shares her experience of pregnancy loss

Read more: Stress, anxiety, despair: studies reveal Irish people’s post-lockdown fears

Read more: Moving video series beautifully captures Irish life lockdown, both at home and abroad

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