Coronavirus symptoms: Deadly inflammatory fever in children is linked to COVID-19

Coronavirus may be more dangerous in children than first realised. Increasing support is linking the notorious virus with an influx of youngsters sent to intensive care.

Experts looked into eight cases of children who had been admitted to intensive care at Evelina London Children’s Hospital in mid-April.

They all suffered from “unrelenting fever, rash, and pain”, and had tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.

This means they had been previously infected with coronavirus, but they did not test positive for the active virus while in hospital.


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The children – ranging in age from four to 14 – had inflammation of the heart and blood vessels.

This led to one child having a “giant coronary aneurysm”, and another passed away following a stroke.

GPs around the country have been issued a warning by NHS England alerting them to be on the look-out for symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease in children.

The NHS explains that Kawasaki disease mainly affects children under the age of five.

Symptoms of the disease include a high temperature – that lasts for five days or more – a rash, swollen glands in the neck and dry, and cracked lips.

Other symptoms include red fingers or toes, and red eyes.

The condition causes the blood vessels to become inflamed and swollen, akin to the symptoms the children presented in intensive care.

Scientists have now published a report in The Lancet journal suggesting that the children’s extreme symptoms could be linked to coronavirus.

It’s their view point that it may be a delayed immune response from catching coronavirus.

Seven of the eight children monitored were clinically obese, and six were from Bame (black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Shelley Riphagen, who led the investigation, said a further 12 children with similar symptoms have been treated.

Dr Jeremy Rossman, a virologist at the University of Kent, said the findings were “very concerning”.


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Dr Mike Linney, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, added: “All of these children were extremely unwell.

“[They had] features suggestive of sepsis such as a persistently high temperature coupled with rapid breathing, cold hands and feet and sleepiness.”

However, Dr Sanjay Patel, a consultant at Southampton Children’s Hospital, wanted to reassure the public.

“It’s important to keep this in perspective,” Dr Patel began.

“It’s a very rare condition and parents shouldn’t be alarmed.

“It remains extremely unlikely that a child will become unwell with COVID-19 [coronavirus], and it’s even more unlikely that a child will become unwell with this condition.”

For those concerned about their children, or grandchildren, it’s best to follow your instincts.

Do not hesitate to call NHS 111 if you’re worried about a loved one.

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