According to a study carried out by the general pediatrics department of Robert Debré hospital in Paris and published on Monday, July 20, the link between the new coronavirus and Kawasaki disease, which affects children, “appears fairly clear” . The number of hospital admissions of children affected by this disease jumped 497% in April, during the coronavirus epidemic.
“We were able to carry out a study which tried to evaluate over fifteen years what was the frequency of Kawasaki disease in children hospitalized in Robert Debré”, explained on franceinfo Professor Albert Faye, head of the general pediatrics department in this hospital. From 2005 to 2020, 230 patients were hospitalized with Kawasaki disease. “We were able to highlight a significant increase in the frequency of this disease during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
This rare childhood disease is “an inflammatory disease which affects the small vessels, which can have complications in the coronary heart”, explains Albert Faye to our colleagues. He specifies that the latter is “well known in pediatrics” and fairly well treated “with essentially immunoglobulins”.
However, with the coronavirus, children develop a “more marked” form of Kawasaki disease, with “digestive damage, abdominal pain”. The inflammation is “a little more important than in classic disease”, with damage to the heart, inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), and inflammation of the pericardium (pericarditis) “more frequent”, explain our colleagues.
However, severe forms of Kawasaki disease, linked to Covid-19, “remain very rare”. In his department, the pediatrician no longer notes “Kawasaki diseases linked to Covid. And overall, compared to the very large number of adults who have been hospitalized for complications linked to Covid, there have been very few children hospitalized, whether for complications related to Covid or Kawasaki disease. We must put it into perspective “. “It can be treated satisfactorily if it is taken early,” says the specialist.
Albert Faye still calls on parents whose children are affected by Kawasaki disease to watch for certain signs that should alert.