An illness that appears to affect only young people has placed several children in intensive care in the Netherlands. It is not yet clear what this illness is.
Children in six different countries have landed in intensive care with similar symptoms, over one hundred total patients recorded. In the UK, several children have died as a result of the illness.
What are the symptoms of this disease?
For those who get the illness severely enough to end up in intensive care, the complaints so far seem to be severe abdominal, stomach and intestinal complaints, often a fever, and sometimes heart and lung problems.
Similar symptoms to Kawasaki disease
Whether this illness is new, or is an existing disease, is still under investigation, according to child immunologist Taco Kuijpers of the Amsterdam UMC, who spoke with NU.nl yesterday. There are some similarities with the rare illness called Kawasaki disease. The symptoms of this illness include swollen limbs, a thicker tongue, red eyes and chapped lips, as well as those already mentioned.
The illness becomes dangerous if the blood vessels near the heart swell, but it is very treatable if it is caught in time. Additionally, most children will only get it very mildly and may not need medical attention at all.
Link to coronavirus still under investigation
But, of course, this mysterious illness may also be connected with coronavirus, which is what people are most frightened of. So far, it has seemed that most children do not get coronavirus very severely— it is far more dangerous for adults. Some of the children worldwide who have this illness did test positive for coronavirus, but others did not.
Doctors are continuing to investigate this illness, but for now, there are no concrete answers as to what it is.
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