The “vast majority” of children with COVID-19 have mild cases and recover completely, but a small number in a few countries have developed a rare inflammatory syndrome, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
Italian and British medical experts are investigating a possible link between the coronavirus pandemic and clusters of severe inflammatory disease in infants who are arriving in hospital with high fever and swollen arteries.
Three U.S. children infected with the virus are being treated for a rare inflammatory syndrome that appears similar to one that has raised concerns in Britain, Italy and Spain, a specialist treating them told Reuters on Tuesday.
“I want to emphasise, for all the parents out there, the vast, vast majority of children who get COVID will have mild symptoms and recover completely,” Dr Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, told a virtual news conference on Wednesday.
Until now, children have largely escaped some of the more serious complications of COVID-19, which has hit older adults and those with chronic conditions hardest.
The WHO’s clinical network has discussed the report from Britain about a small number of children with an inflammatory response, WHO epidemiologist Dr. Maria van Kerkhove said.
“There are some recent rare descriptions of children in some European countries that have had this inflammatory syndrome, which is similar to Kawasaki syndrome, but it seems to be very rare,” she said.
“We have asked the global network of clinicians to be alert on this so they capture information systematically, so we can better understand and guide treatment.”
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