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'Peculiarity linking Kawasaki symptoms to Covid a possibility'

new delhi: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a peculiarity possibly linking symptoms of Kawasaki disease - a rare condition - to the contagious disease might be appearing, according to several doctors who have been noticing symptoms of the rare disease now appearing even in children above five years of age. The cause for Kawasaki disease is still unknown but it usually manifests in children up to the age of five.

Many doctors have said children are showing Kawasaki-like symptoms after possibly having recovered from COVID-19. Hospitals in Delhi have earlier reported these symptoms - like inflamed blood vessels and consistent fever and rashes - in several COVID-19 positive children.

Dr Vikas Taneja, heading the department of Pediatrics at Manipal Hospital said that even while classic Kawasaki affects children less than five years, many cases have come forward where similar symptom was seen in older children.

"About two weeks ago, we had a 14-year-old child, who was presented in a similar way. When we did the COVID-19 test, it turned out to be negative. This child came to us in a very critical state and died in almost 48 hours," he said, adding that there was no evidence showing it was a Kawasaki case, but the "literature that we have found out is that all those children who are presenting like this can become critical."

"But this syndrome during this time wherever it has been reported, most of these children have been more than five years of age and that is the difference we are finding," he added.

Four deaths have been reported in children under similar circumstances lately. "We never got an association, but now that we are looking at the data, we know that the COVID test might be negative. It is very likely that the child may not have any symptom, but got symptomatic and triggered an immune reaction two to three weeks later," he said, suggesting that in most cases the child had recovered from the contagious disease.

"From April and March onwards, cases emerged where children were showing a syndrome where they got multi-organ involvement, where the presentation was like Kawasaki. Then they looked at the COVID PCR, which was negative and then they looked at the antigen levels, which were also negative. So, in actual Kawasaki disease as well, we are not able to know the result, so similarly this process would start somewhere around 2 to 3 weeks after a covid infection or after exposure," Dr Taneja said.

Doctors in Delhi have said that many young patients, mostly children, they are treating have been exhibiting symptoms of a Kawasaki-like syndrome and there is presumably a link with COVID-19.

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