The Health Ministry yesterday said Sri Lanka was closely monitoring increasing cases of a Kawasaki-like disease spreading among children in Europe and in the West and said although no cases had been reported here, they would continue to study the pattern of the disease.
A senior official from the Ministry told Daily Mirror that the Kawasaki disease was first reported in Japan, several years ago and since then it usually develops in children who are suffering from severe viral illnesses.
Following the COVID-19 virus, medical officials here said they had heard that this Kawasaki like disease was affecting children who have been infected with COVID-19, but global scientists were still studying this. With Sri Lanka also in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, physicians were in touch with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and added that physicians in Sri Lanka were well competent to handle, if any such case is reported here in the future.the WHO on April 29 said, it had asked its global network of clinicians to be on “alert” for the rare phenomenon, which was first noticed by medics in the UK.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead for COVID-19, said they were aware of this report, which came out of the UK about a small number of cases among children with this inflammatory response.
“We are looking at this with our clinical network. There are some recent rare descriptions of children in some European countries that have had this inflammatory syndrome, which is similar to the Kawasaki syndrome,” Dr. Van Kerkhove said.
“What we have asked for is for the global network of clinicians to be on alert on this, and to ensure that they capture information on children systematically so that we could better understand what is occurring in children, and we could better improve our understanding and guide treatment.”
However, the WHO officials stressed that the vast majority of children who get COVID-19, will have a mild infection and “recover completely”.
In New York, as many as 93 cases of children presenting with a new paediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome likely linked to COVID-19 has been reported.at least three children have died while two more deaths are under investigation. (JAMILA HUSAIN)