U.S. to tell doctors to report cases of COVID-19 inflammatory syndrome in kids

FILE PHOTO: A children's playground is closed with caution tape amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seattle, Washington, U.S., March 24, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. health officials said on Wednesday they will issue an alert telling doctors to report cases of a rare life-threatening inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 in children to their state and local health departments.

The alert from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be released on Wednesday or Thursday, an agency spokesman said in an emailed statement.

U.S. scientists have been working to understand the inflammatory syndrome associated with exposure to the new coronavirus, which has stricken children in Italy, Spain, Britain, and the United States.

In New York, more than 100 children are reported to have developed the syndrome, which may occur days to weeks after a COVID-19 illness. At least three children have died, the state reported on Saturday. All three tested positive for the new coronavirus or had antibodies to it, suggesting the syndrome is linked to COVID-19.

The syndrome shares symptoms with toxic shock and Kawasaki disease, with symptoms such as fever, skin rashes, swelling of the glands and, in severe cases, inflammation of arteries of the heart.

Scientists are still trying to determine whether the syndrome is linked with the new coronavirus because not all children with it have tested positive for the virus.

(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Ediiting by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Berkrot)

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