The most compelling panic-reducer in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic was the community purported to be the most affected by it: the elderly.
Not only was this data determined to be inconsistent, but young communities of various health backgrounds began displaying critical atypical symptoms associated with the disease.
The latest has been observed in children being treated for SARS-Cov-2 infection in the UK.
“There is a growing concern that a [COVID-19] related inflammatory syndrome is emerging in children in the UK, or that there may be another, as yet unidentified, infectious pathogen associated with these cases,” an alert appearing in The Health Service Journal warned early Monday morning. “Please refer children presenting with these symptoms as a matter of urgency.”
The reported prodromes resemble those linked to Kawasaki Disease alongside instructive characteristics of SARS-COV-2 infection.
More discreetly, the young patients observed in the new report evidenced toxic shock syndrome, abdominal pain, and blood parameters consistent with critical manifestations of COVID-19. Upon further inspection, several other gastrointestinal symptoms were documented by health care professionals as well as cardiac inflammation.
“This has been observed in children with confirmed PCR positive SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as children who are PCR negative,” the alert continued. “Serological evidence of possible preceding SARS-CoV-2 infection has also been observed.”
Kawasaki disease is a condition that primarily affects young children under the age of five via three phases.
The first includes a fever that exceeds 102.2 F (39 C) and persists for more than three days, extremely red eyes, dry, cracked lips and an extremely red, swollen tongue.
The second phase subsumes symptoms similar to the flu with joint and stomach pain alongside diarrhea.
The third and final phase is a heightened version of the first two; more gastrointestinal discomfort and soreness and swelling.
The condition is easily treatable if attended within ten days of infection and is relatively rare in the United States, with about one in 5,000 children being diagnosed a year.
It should be noted that researchers have yet to determine if Kawasaki disease follows exposure to a virus or some kind of bacteria, even though it is reliably transmitted person to person.
This is important in relation to our current pandemic because viral infections historically produce a wide range of outcomes.
COVID-19 is the reaction our bodies produce in reaction to SARS-Cov-2. For the most part, the respiratory system is impacted the most severely. However, for some, neuropathies are the most prominent consequence of infection, while others remain asymptomatic and an additional minority occasion olfactory abnormalities.
The body’s adaptive immune response varies considerably among populations, depending on lifestyle factors, genetic background and our environment. This frustrates supportive care, surveillance, and phase three of vaccine development (the phases that determines potentially adverse reactions to antiviral treatment)
It is safe to assume that communities previously thought to be safe from critical forms of COVID-19 will demonstrate a growing list of outliers as new strains appear and penetrate a larger pool of phenotypes.
The longer the list of potentialities, the stronger the list of countermeasures.
“Thankfully Kawasaki-like diseases are very rare, as currently are serious complications in children related to Covid-19, but it is important that clinicians are made aware of any potential emerging links so that they are able to give children and young people the right care fast,” said Simon Kenny, NHS national clinical director for children and young people, in a media statement