CHLA treating 3 patients with symptoms of rare disease possibly linked to COVID-19

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Children’s Hospital Los Angeles says it is treating three young patients who are showing symptoms of a rare disease that may be linked to COVID-19.

The condition, known as Kawasaki disease, is a pediatric condition that results in swelling throughout the body’s arteries.

Early symptoms include fever, skin rash, red eyes, cracked lips and swelling, Time reported on its website.

The three patients showing Kawasaki disease symptoms at CHLA also tested positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, but tested negative for the virus. Dr. Michael Neely stated.

The results indicate the children’s inflammation may be a late response to a recent infection with SARS-CoV-2, Neely stated.

The tests are consistent with recent reports out of New York and the United Kingdom about cases of extreme inflammation among children with COVID-19.

Kawasaki disease can lead to serious cardiac complications if left untreated, Dr. Veena Goel Jones, a pediatric hospitalist with Palo Alto Medical Foundation, told Time.

L.A. County’s public health director Barbara Ferrer said in a briefing Friday that for many of the cases where the syndrome has been seen in different parts of the country, a child has either tested positive for having antibodies to COVID-19, meaning at some point in the past they had the infection, or that the child is currently positive for COVID-19.

“In all of the situations, people are looking to try to better understand what kind of link there may be between this syndrome and COVID-19,” she said.

The county is starting a survey Friday at all pediatric intensive care units to make sure that they haven’t identified a similar syndrome, Ferrer said. If there are cases, they will try to find some link to the three at CHLA.

“We’re going to work with the entire country at better understanding these risks for children,” Ferrer added.

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