Can kids get COVID-19? What we know about the Kawasaki-like disease affecting children
At first, news that COVID-19 doesn't always affect children as severely as it strikes adults was a welcome relief. At least that was the initial understanding clinicians had of the disease caused by the coronavirus. Now, doctors and scientists are rethinking that assumption, after identifying clusters of cases that point to a potentially dangerous syndrome they say is related to COVID-19 in kids, but with a different pathology and sometimes fatal outcomes.
Many of these affected children have been admitted into intensive care and placed on life support. Some have reportedly suffered heart damage and other organ failure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed at least three children have died, but doctors speculate there are probably more. With clinical symptoms more closely mirroring Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome than the COVID-19 symptoms doctors have come to expect, there's still much the medical community doesn't know about this newly observed disease.
This brings up some tough questions. What's the disease called and how is it affecting kids? How deadly is it? How is it being treated, and will it delay the reopening of schools? This story draws on available information from sources like the CDC and World Health Organization, and will continue to be updated as new details come to light. It is not intended to serve as medical advice.
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