A nine-year-old boy in France has died from the mysterious Kawasaki-like disease, which some medics link to Covid-19. It’s the first such case in that country, but similar child fatalities were earlier recorded in the US and UK.
The cause of the boy’s death was “neurological injury related to a cardiac arrest,” Fabrice Michel, head of the pediatric intensive care unit at La Timone hospital in Marseille, said.
The child was rushed to hospital with heart problems in early May. Doctors have been fighting for his life for a whole week, but the young patient passed away on Saturday.
While in hospital, the boy tested positive for Covid-19, though he didn’t show any symptoms of the deadly virus, which has already killed more than 304,000 and infected almost 4.5 million people around the globe.
The myocarditis developed by the victim was a “very rare case”, Michel pointed out. The boy’s medical files will now be thoroughly examined to establish if he had any pre-existing pathologies.
Covid-19 has been especially dangerous for elderly people, with children mainly experiencing it in light form or without any symptoms at all. But the news of an increased number of cases of a mysterious inflammatory illness, similar to the exotic Kawasaki disease, has become a scare for parents, after doctors said it may be linked to coronavirus.
The Kawasaki disease is characterized by high fever, rashes, abdominal pain, conjunctivitis and a red or swollen tongue. Michel urged parents to contact their doctor if their kids show those symptoms and have high fever for more than two days.
Since March 1, France has reported 125 cases of the new disease. The patients were aged from one up to 14 years, with a half of them testing positive for coronavirus.
The boy from Marseille might be the first fatality in France, but earlier this week New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, said that three children in his state had succumbed to the Kawasaki-like illness, with around 100 suspected of having developed the condition. On Wednesday, a London hospital also reported the death of a coronavirus-positive 14-year-old due to the same complication.
However, the very idea of a link between Covid-19 and the Kawasaki disease so far remains just speculation, not backed by any scientific proof. The World Health Organization is only investigating the possible connection.
The medics who talked to RT on the issue, insisted that the reported cases were no reason for panic. “I wouldn’t expect an outbreak of Kawasaki in children because Kawasaki itself is rare,” Professor Angelo Ravelli, head of rheumatology at the Giannina Gaslini Institute, one of Italy’s largest pediatric hospitals, pointed out. Besides, Kawasaki is quite treatable and not that harmful if timely detected, he added.
Professor Anne Rowley of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in the US was skeptical about the possible connection between the two diseases as “Covid-19 is caused by an entirely new virus, and Kawasaki disease has been well recognized for 50 years.”
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