French doctors have found children suffering from a rare inflammatory condition flagged by their British counterparts this week had all had contact with COVID-19.
The UK’s Paediatric Intensive Care Society issued a warning on an increase of children with a multi-system inflammatory state requiring intensive care across the country.
The cases were reported to have features of toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease and have been seen in Spain, Italy and France too.
Tests have shown that a significant number of those children had been in contact with coronavirus in the three to four weeks previous
In France, more than 20 children, aged from three to 17 years old, were affected by the condition, according to local media, and doctors now say all had been in contact with COVID-19.
“Most likely follows COVID-10”
Dr Sylvain Renolleau, Head of the intensive care unit at The Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris.
“These children have all been in contact with this virus (coronavirus) at one time or another,” Dr Renolleau said.
According to Dr Renolleau, all of the young patients had either a “still positive but weak” PCR (a diagnosis that allows us to see if the person is infected at any point in time) or a positive serological test (which establishes after the fact that the virus has indeed been present in the body).
Damien Bonnet, Head of the Department of Paediatric Medical Cardiology in the same hospital says the disease most likely follows COVID-19 in children.
“What we understand about the temporality of the arrival of these children, in a delayed way compared to the beginning of the epidemic in adults, is that it is probably a post-infection disease, of the immunological mechanisms that follow the infection with COVID-19,” Bonnet says.
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The finding comes after the medical authorities in the various countries concerned had indicated that some of the children had tested for COVID-19 and others had not.
According to the information provided by the French scientists, all the sick children needed ventilatory assistance because of this “exaggerated inflammatory reaction”.
A reaction that would, therefore, result in heart damage and not lung damage as in adults with COVID-19.
“Even so, we don’t have all the arguments of certainty that there is a direct causal link between the new coronavirus and these unusual cases.” Damien Bonnet says.