What is Kawasaki disease? Doctors explore possible coronavirus connection in kids

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A mysterious illness possibly related to COVID-19 is bringing children to hospitals with symptoms ranging from reddened tongues to rashes and enlarged coronary arteries.

Symptoms associated with Kawasaki disease, a rare blood vessel disorder, have appeared to cluster in COVID-19 hot spots, including New York City and the United Kingdom, and now, Montreal doctors are seeing slightly more cases, too.

While pediatricians are used to encountering cases of Kawasaki disease, the clusters are calling for further investigation to determine any possible link to COVID-19.

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“The pediatric networks are looking at this, and there have been cases identified (of Kawasaki in Canada), but they haven’t been verified to be linked to COVID-19 specifically,” said Canada’s chief medical officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, in a press conference on Wednesday.

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“Those investigations are underway.”

READ MORE: You’re less likely to catch coronavirus outdoors — so why are parks closed?

New York City’s health department said on Monday at least 15 pediatric cases compatible with what doctors are calling “multi-system inflammatory syndrome” were identified in the city’s hospitals.


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