Dr. Fatima Kakkar, an infectious disease pediatrician at Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal, suggested that there might be a link between young patients developing unusual Kawasaki-like illnesses and a former infection of COVID-19. Her suggestion is currently under study by the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program.
Dark red rashes, high fever, swelling in the palms and soles, lymph nodes on the neck, and inflammatory markers in the blood are symptoms consistent with Kawasaki disease. According to recent reports, some of those symptoms were found in more than a dozen children between 1 and 10 years old in Canada. Other countries have reported similar cases.
But Kawasaki occurs in children under six years of age. Also, the patients didn’t meet the entire set of symptoms to be diagnosed with the disease. Some of them had parents diagnosed with COVID-19. Those are the reasons that led Dr. Kakkar to see that there might be a link between the two illnesses.
COVID-19 might be linked to the recent Kawasaki-like syndrome in kids in Canada
The assumption could quickly be ruled out with an antibody test. But Canada doesn’t have antibody tests to see whether patients have had COVID-19. The test can tell if a patient was infected by finding the antibodies that the immune system had created if so.
This is what stands in the way of a confirmation or an invalidation of the supposition that COVID-19 might trigger this atypical reaction in children. “We definitely don’t want to make the 100-per-cent link because we don’t have that proof yet, but it is suspicious. And I think with the other countries coming up with their data, it does raise the fact that the most likely virus circulating right now is actually COVID,” said Kakkar.
The public is asked to address their health-care provider if they observe similar symptoms in their children. They can have been infected with COVID-19, and those Kawasaki-like symptoms to be the late answer to the unhinged immune system.