Treatment for kids with Covid-linked Kawasaki-like illness is ‘highly effective’, say docs – The Sun

A NEW treatment for kids with the Kawasaki disease-like condition linked to Covid-19 is "highly effective", doctors say.

In recent weeks, there has been a rise of children being admitted with intensive care with an illness similar to toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and Kawasaki disease – a disorder that causes inflammation to the heart.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US have revealed this week that doctors have found a treatment which is lessening symptoms and helping kids with the syndrome to survive.

It comes as the new illness, which can cause a high temperature, stomach pain, diarrhoea and a rash, has affected about 100 children in Britain.

Health officials say a drug known as intravenous immunoglobulin or IVIg, has been helping to treat children with the Kawasaki disease-like condition linked to Covid-19.

According to the NHS, IVIg is used to increase the amount of antibodies in your immune system to help fight infections.

Purified antibodies

Immunoglobulin is made from purified, or free from contamination, human antibodies donated by blood donors.

It is given as an infusion (drip) using a butterfly needle which is inserted into a vein in the arm or hand.

The CDC revealed the positive impact of IVIg in a webinar this week after studying 33 patients with the Kawasaki disease-like condition, who were all given the treatment.

All of the individuals were given IVIg and 30 per cent of them were also given a second dose.

Promising results

The majority (70 per cent) were also given a corticosteroid, which works in tandem with the drug to dampen the immune system.

The mortality rate among the group was 0 per cent, and 82 per cent had been discharged from the hospital at the time of the report.

Dr Audrey John, Head of the paediatric infectious diseases division at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, confirmed that she had also seen "major success" when it came to treating kids with the new condition with IVIg.

She told Yahoo Life: "We and others have found that IVIg and other treatments, such as steroids, lead to a rapid improvement in fever and an improvement in heart function over several days."

And she added that medics believe it likely works by suppressing the immune response.

"We believe that, like for Kawasaki disease, it puts a damper on the excess and harmful immune response," she said.

Dr Stanford Shulman, a professor of paediatrics with a focus on infectious disease at Northwestern University, who says the medicine has been used since the ’80s to treat KDs, concurs.

We have found that IVIg leads to a rapid improvement in fever and an improvement in heart function

"Although it's never been totally proven, we believe that IVIg works by modulating or suppressing inflammation," Dr Shulman said.

While the effects of IVIg on kids with the new condition seem extremely promising, neither Dr John or Dr Shulman are ready to deem this a cure.

Dr John said: "Since this is a new syndrome, we do not have long-term follow up on any children who have been diagnosed with this condition.

"We hope that symptoms will not return when the IVIg wears off (over weeks to months), but we do not yet know for sure that will be the case.”

Patients responded quite dramatically to treatment with IVIg

“We have about two and a half weeks knowledge of this new syndrome and what we know is the vast majority of the patients that are being reported responded quite dramatically to treatment with IVIg or steroids,” Dr Shulman adds.

"But we don't have long-term follow up yet on these patients. Most of them are seemingly doing very well. So what we can say is that this seems to be a highly effective treatment."

The condition first emerged at the end of last month when health bosses warned GPs to be on the lookout for a new “inflammatory syndrome” that could be linked to coronavirus.

Officials warned of "a multi-system inflammatory state, requiring intensive care across London and also in other regions of the UK".

What are the symptoms of the Kawasaki disease-like condition linked to Covid-19?

Health chiefs said in an alert to GPs the signs include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms – like vomiting and diarrhoea

The mysterious condition has been compared to toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and Kawasaki disease.

The signs of TSS are:

  • High temperature
  • Flu-like symptoms, like headache, feeling cold, aches, sore throat and cough
  • Feeling and being sick
  • Diarrhoea
  • Widespread burn-like rash
  • Lips, tongue, and whites of the eyes turning bright red
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion

Signs of Kawasaki disease include:

  • A rash
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Dry, cracked lips
  • Red fingers or toes
  • Red eyes

Some, but not all kids with signs of this new condition have tested positive for coronavirus.

But, it’s not yet clear if there is a direct link with Covid-19.

Public Health England are investigating, as NHS England’s medical director Prof Stephen Powis said: “It is really too early to say whether there is a link.”

I think it is entirely plausible that it is caused by this virus, at least in some cases

England’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof Chris Whitty added: “This is a very rare situation, but I think it is entirely plausible that it is caused by this virus, at least in some cases.”

This new condition could be very serious, say doctors.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of, told The Sun children can end up needing treatment in intensive care, and could prove fatal in severe cases.

If you are worried your child could be suffering from the symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice, as soon as possible.

Contact your GP or call NHS 111.

Dr Jarvis told The Sun: "The NHS is very much open for business.

"If you have a child who is seriously unwell, you should call an ambulance – your child is much better off in hospital if they’re seriously unwell."


Don't miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.

To receive The Sun's Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.
To follow us on Facebook, simply 'Like' our Coronavirus page.
Get Britain's best-selling newspaper delivered to your smartphone or tablet each day – find out more.

Source: Read Full Article