The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday called out doctors and world leaders to be on the alert for cases of a rare inflammatory disease in children that may be linked to the coronavirus, reported CNBC.
During a news conference at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said health officials across the world are hearing more and more about cases of an inflammatory disease similar to Kawasaki disease in a few countries, including the United States and Italy.
“We need more information collected in a systematic way because with the initial reports, we’re getting a description of what this looks like, which is not always the same,” Kerkhove said. “And in some children, they tested positive for Covid-19 and other children have not. So we do not know if this is associated with Covid-19.”
During a virtual briefing on Friday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said initial reports hypothesise that the newly emerging syndrome may be related to COVID-19. He said it is very critical to urgently and carefully characterise this clinical syndrome, to understand causality and to describe treatment interventions.
Tedros said the WHO had developed a preliminary case definition for the disease dubbed “Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children”.
The organisation raised the alert among the WHO’s global clinical network, calling on clinicians worldwide to be on the alert and better understand this syndrome.
The warning came after a doctor in France on Friday said a nine-year-old boy there who had tested positive for COVID-19 had died from the syndrome, marking the first such death in the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that a number of treatments are under clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19, but none of those were yet approved.
Kerkhove said it will take time to get full answers about which treatments work, and that currently there’s no approved treatment for COVID-19.