Doctors in several European countries have reported a small number cases of children who were suffering from severe inflammation, raising the question whether the symptoms could be linked to the novel coronavirus.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva, the reported symptoms are similar to the Kawasaki disease, a very rare childhood condition that involves fever and inflamed blood vessels.
At least two cases have appeared in Germany, according to Reinhard Berner, who heads the Dresden University Hospital.
It is still unclear whether they are connected with coronavirus infections, he said.
“It is certainly conceivable,” he said.
In Switzerland, three children have been treated at the Geneva University Hospital for severe inflammation symptoms since the start of the Covid-19 coronavirus disease outbreak.
One of them is in intensive care, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Swiss medics believe that the symptoms might be triggered by coronavirus infections.
“The virus causes a storm of inflammation, an overreaction of the immune system,” said Jacques-Andre Romand, the Chief Medical Officer of the Canton of Geneva.
Additional cases have been reported in Italy and Spain.
British health authorities have informed about around 24 cases, some of which tested positive for Covid-19, while others did not.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s top Covid-19 expert, said this week that doctors around the world have been asked to be on alert and to collect information about such patients systematically.
WHO emergency operations Chief, Mike Ryan, reassured parents that “the vast, vast majority of children who get Covid-19 will have a mild infection and recover completely.”