Coronavirus: Cases of mysterious virus-related illness reported in at least 6 countries

At least 12 British children are thought to have been hit by the illness, which is being described as an ‘inflammatory syndrome’, similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome
Parents and carers should watch out for rashes
This week, a mysterious coronavirus-related illness hit the headlines, after doctors were urgently alerted about a rise of cases in children
At least 12 British children are thought to have been hit by the illness, which is being described as an ‘inflammatory syndrome’, similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.

Parents and carers should watch out for rashes

Now reports of similar cases are flooding in from around them world, suggesting that the illness may now be widespread. Doctors have now reported a total of almost 100 cases in the UK, the US, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. The first reports were in the UK, where there are believed to be at least 12 cases. Meanwhile, France’s health minister, Olivier Veran, revealed this week that the illness has been seen in ‘about 15 children of all ages.’

A six-month-old girl who had both coronavirus and Kawasaki disease. Speaking to Franceinfo, Mr Veran also confirmed that cases have been reported in Spain, Italy and Switzerland, listing fever, digestive issues and vascular inflammation as key symptoms.
Finally, in the US, at least three children are being treated for a similar illness.

While little is known about the illness, it’s believed to have three key symptoms, and is similar to Kawasaki Disease and toxic shock syndrome.



Red eyes are a key sign of Kawasaki disease
The alert to doctors in the UK said: “The cases have in common overlapping features of toxic shock syndrome and atypical Kawasaki Disease with blood parameters consistent with severe COVID-19 in children.

“Abdominal pain and gastrointestinal symptoms have been a common feature as has cardiac inflammation.”

Kawasaki disease causes the blood vessels to become inflamed and swollen, which can lead to complications in the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart, according to the NHS.

It explained: “The characteristic symptoms are a high temperature that lasts for 5 days or more, with: a rash, swollen glands in the neck, dry, cracked lips, red fingers or toes, red eyes.”

Meanwhile, toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but life-threatening condition caused by bacteria getting into the body and releasing harmful toxins.

It's often associated with tampon use in women, but can affect anyone of any age – including men and children.

The NHS explained: “The symptoms of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) start suddenly and get worse quickly.

“They include: a high temperature, flu-like symptoms, such as a headache, feeling cold, feeling tired or exhausted, an aching body, a sore throat and a cough, feeling and being sick, diarrhoea, a widespread sunburn-like rash, lips, tongue and the whites of the eyes turning a bright red, dizziness or fainting, difficulty breathing, confusion.”