New coronavirus has manifested circulatory inflammation in children in UK – as did a 2005 variant
In late April, the UK was the first country to report a worrying development in the coronavirus pandemic, after an urgent NHS notification to hospital trusts warned doctors to be on the look-out for serious and potentially life-threatening ‘atypical’ inflammation of the heart and circulatory system in children infected with the virus, similar to ‘Kawasaki disease‘. The US has subsequently seen cases, with 88 children showing symptoms between the UK and New York. Three children have died.
But the COVID-19 pathogen is not the first ‘novel coronavirus’ to be linked with the symptoms of Kawasaki disease in children. A 2005 study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases noted that 72.7% of children suffering Kawasaki disease who were tested in the study were shown to be infected with the then-novel ‘New Hampshire coronavirus’.
The World Health Organisation, US Centres for Disease Control and the NHS are all reported to be worried by 2019 development, but Boris Johnson is under pressure to re-open schools in the first phase of his planned relaxation of the UK lock-down. Even new Labour leader Keir Starmer has been speaking to media calling for the same, despite protests from the National Education Union that none of the five tests supposed to be met before schools open have been fulfilled.
It is clear that serious consequences for children are not just an emerging feature of the new coronavirus but may also be intrinsic to similar respiratory coronaviruses. The government must not even think about re-opening schools until this has been properly investigated and the risks are thoroughly understood.
No bowing to corporate pressure and no excuses.
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