Categories: General NewsHealth

Canadian Doctors are Investigating a Possible Link Between COVID-19 and Kawasaki Disease

An investigation is being conducted by Montreal doctors on whether an unusual group of cases of a rare disease that affects children, was triggered by COVID-19 in any way.

Doctors in Europe have already been investigating the suspiciously high number of cases, of what they think is the Kawasaki disease. The Kawasaki disease is sometimes found in children after they have suffered from a viral or bacterial infection.

Some of the symptoms of the illness are rashes, fever, bloodshot eyes, and swollen hands and feet. Children, in most cases, show recovery with the help of medication. However, the illness can eventually lead to permanent heart damage, if the illness is not treated.

In Quebec, over the past few weeks, doctors at one hospital had come across at least 12 cases of what they consider “atypical cases of Kawasaki disease.” Doctors are working on a quick collection of case reports, in hopes to publish their observations.

According to a statement to CTV News, given by a doctor at Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal, Fatima Kakkar, she explains that they have been observing this over the last few weeks, and the significant number of cases, comes off as unusual. She added, that they are still unsure as to what to make out of it.

A team of Montreal doctors has been studying the cases, which according to Kakkar, are described as “atypical presentations of Kawasaki disease.” The doctors are now preparing to publish their findings, hoping to share what they have observed and know, with the medical community. However, experts have cautioned that it might be too early to draw a link between the COVID-19 and Kawasaki disease.

According to a doctor at the Canadian Paediatric Society, Dr. Charlotte Moore told CTV News, that it is essential to recognize that these are early days with preliminary findings, leaving a great deal more left to learn. There were 12 confirmed cases of Kawasaki in Montreal in the last three weeks, as of Friday.

However, Quebec’s uptick in cases of Kawasaki diseases bears some similarity to the clusters that were reported worldwide. In Italy, one hospital has reported five cases, in the matter of a few weeks. Normally, this was the count of cases, they’d typically record in a year.

A six-month-old baby was recently diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, in the United States, after the baby had a blotchy rash and experienced swelling on her hands and feet. Follow-up testing had concluded and confirmed that the child was indeed positive for the COVID-19.

The United Kingdom has reported more severe cases, where at least 12 children have been hospitalized with Kawasaki. England’s National Health Service had issued an alert last week, where they warned doctors about a small group of growing cases of children that were hospitalized with two multi-system inflammatory diseases – toxic shock syndrome, and Kawasaki disease.

The alert did eventually catch the attention of the Montreal doctors, who were already investigating the Quebec clusters.

30 out of 100,000 children under the age of five in Canada, fall ill with Kawasaki disease, according to Kawasaki Disease Canada. Furthermore, about 75 to 80 percent of all cases, involve children that are under the age of five.
Another unusual observation in the Quebec cases is that the doctors say that older children have also started to get sick. According to Kakkar, the disease has been seen from infants to adolescence, and in all ages.

However, serious cases of COVID-19 are rare, where only 5 percent of all cases in Canada, are of people aged 19 or younger. Furthermore, more than 90 percent of all COVID-19 deaths have reportedly been among people aged 60 and older.

Saher Asad Mir

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