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TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Abdominal pain, gastrointestinal complaints and heart inflammation are among the symptoms in children with a rare syndrome that may be linked to COVID-19, British health officials say.
An urgent alert about a small rise in the number of cases of critically ill children with "overlapping features of toxic shock syndrome and atypical Kawasaki disease with blood parameters" among some children who've testing positive for COVID-19 was tweeted Sunday by the Paediatric Intensive Care Society (PICS) UK, CNN reported.
Kawasaki disease is a rare childhood illness that causes the walls of the blood vessels to become inflamed.
Over the last three weeks, "there has been an apparent rise in the number of children of all ages presenting with a multi-system inflammatory state requiring intensive care across London and also in other regions of the UK," according to the alert sent to U.K. general practitioners by the National Health Service (NHS), according to the Health Service Journal, CNN reported.
"There is a growing concern that a [covid-19]-related inflammatory syndrome is emerging in children in the UK, or that there may be another, as yet unidentified, infectious pathogen associated with these cases," the alert stated.
PICS said there "very few cases" of critically unwell children with COVID-19 admitted to pediatric intensive care units in the U.K. and around the world, but they knew of a "small number of children nationally" who have the symptoms outlined in the NHS alert, CNN reported.
The risk of children becoming severely ill with COVID-19 remains low, according to health experts.
"Thankfully Kawasaki-like diseases are very rare, as currently are serious complications in children related to COVID-19, but it is important that clinicians are made aware of any potential emerging links so that they are able to give children and young people the right care fast," Simon Kenny, NHS national clinical director for children and young people, told CNN.
Although a small number of children can become severely ill with COVID-19, it is "very rare," and evidence shows that children appear to be least affected by the new coronavirus, according to Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
"However our advice remains the same: parents should be reassured that children are unlikely to be seriously ill with Covid-19 but if they are concerned about their children's health for any reason, they should seek help from a health professional," Viner told CNN.
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