This Morning medical expert Dr Ranj has touched upon a mysterious new illness which can affect children amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. It has been reported that intensive care departments across the UK have also been treating severely sick children with unusual symptoms involving "multi-system inflammation". Speaking on Tuesday's show, Dr Ranj highlighted to viewers the worrying symptoms parents should be looking out for.
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"On the surface, this alert would seem quite scary, but we've got to put it into perspective," he explained. "What we've seen over the last few weeks is a number of children that have been admitted to hospital, some of which have ended up in intensive care with a certain pattern of illness, which is a little bit worrying."
On whether it is linked to coronavirus, the former Strictly star said: "Some of them have tested positive for coronavirus and some of them haven't. And this alert went out to healthcare professionals to ask them to be extra vigilant, just in case we were seeing something new emerging."
Dr Ranj has detailed the new warning signs
Dr Ranj continued: "Now what we've seen is these children have had a hyperinflammatory syndrome where they have lots and lots of inflammation around the body. And some of their symptoms that they're coming in with are similar to another condition we already see in small children called Kawasaki disease." Kawasaki disease causes swelling of the blood vessels of the heart, prompting a high fever and rash.
The medic further explained how the alert is to advise healthcare workers to get specialist advice as early as possible if they're concerned about a child with these symptoms. "We don't know if coronavirus is causing this new pattern of illness and it's only a small number of children," he said. "We don't know if it's definitely related to Kawasaki disease or whether we're dealing with something else entirely, which is why at the moment we are still learning a lot about it and we're asking people to be extra careful."
He confirmed the symptoms could be your child becoming increasingly unwell, with a temperature that is still persisting after five days, a rash, cracked red skin, a swollen tongue, swollen mouth, swollen fingers and swollen toes. "We're definitely seeing it in school age children in this country and we don't know exactly how many children are affected in the UK," he added. "But we're guessing probably between 20 to 30 have been affected over the last few weeks. Not all of them have been serious obviously.
"We have seen some reports from other countries as well, for example my colleagues in Spain have started to report that they have seen some cases of this too and we'll probably hear from other places around the world. That makes us think that this could potentially be related to coronavirus, but again it doesn't prove it. We need more information. Or it could be that we've got a completely new agent emerging all together. We just don't know… Children are still at the lowest risk of coronavirus from everyone."
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