Since the coronavirus pandemic, pediatricians in the U.K. have noticed an increase in children turning up with multisystem inflammatory state, a condition that is so severe that it requires treatment in the intensive care unit. As ScienceDirect explains, this and similar conditions can be caused by the body's autoimmune response.
The condition is presenting in children who are known or suspected to have contracted COVID-19, according to an email from the country's National Health Service.
"[The condition has features of] toxic shock syndrome and atypical Kawasaki Disease" and shows up in children "with blood parameters consistent with severe COVID-19."
Other kids with the condition have also had abdominal pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, and inflammation of the heart.
According to GP Online, any possible connection between the inflammatory condition and COVID-19 hasn't been established yet for certain.
"Our understanding of the pathophysiology is currently incomplete. Whether this is COVID-associated or something else is not clear at the moment," reads the email, noting that the condition could be the result of a different pathogen wreaking havoc on the bodies of children whose immune systems are otherwise busy fighting off SARS-CoV-2 (the official name of the virus that causes COVID-19).
For now, U.K. physicians are being asked to be on the lookout for kids who are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or who are showing other symptoms not typically associated with the disease but might otherwise be unwell, and make sure the kids get the care they require. If the kids are showing signs of the inflammatory condition, physicians are asked to report the cases to the colleagues for further discussion and review.
Similarly, parents are reminded to talk to their children's doctors if their kids are sick. When necessary, they should call the country's non-emergency medical number for advice or the country's emergency medical number for an ambulance.
"If a professional tells you to go to hospital, please go to hospital," reads the government's advice.
Since the coronavirus pandemic emerged, the conventional wisdom has generally been that the virus mostly spares children. However, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, some children under 18 have gotten sick from COVID-19, or its complications, to the point of requiring treatment in the hospital. And at least one otherwise healthy child with no underlying medical conditions — a French teenager — reportedly died of the illness.