BC Children lockdown
Picture for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Supplied

A mysterious new syndrome seems to be affecting children, which medical experts believe may be associated with coronavirus and it is changing what was previously believed about how COVID-19 surfaces in children.

Health officials in New York City, announced that fifteen children, many of whom had the coronavirus, have recently been hospitalised with a mysterious illness that doctors do not yet completely understand but that has also been reported in several European countries, The New York Times reported.

Paediatricians in places including Italy, Britain, France and Spain, have reported cases of children exhibiting such symptoms.

Many of the children, ages two to 15, have shown symptoms associated with toxic shock or Kawasaki disease, a rare illness in children, the city’s health department reportedly said.

The symptoms of the Kawasaki syndrome include fever, vomiting, rash, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting, eye inflammation and abdominal pain.

None of the New York City patients with the syndrome have died.

The city’s health department is currently describing the illness as a “multisystem inflammatory syndrome potentially associated with COVID-19.”

The New York Times reported that the state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, said that state officials were also investigating the unexplained syndrome.

“There are some recent rare descriptions of children in some European countries that have had this inflammatory syndrome, which is similar to the Kawasaki syndrome, but it seems to be very rare,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, a World Health Organization scientist, reportedly said at a news briefing last week.

Those who are older and with underlying health conditions are highest at risk of developing serious symptoms of coronavirus. Children are less likely to become seriously ill than adults. However, the “mysterious” illness highlights the danger children are in due to the disease.

A New York paediatrician has warned that 80 per cent of children in the city, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak in the US, could be infected with COVID-19, according to a mid-April report by The Independent.

Dr Dyan Hes told US media that children are not getting tested for coronavirus.

The doctor said that despite many children showing symptoms for COVID-19, it is impossible for them to be tested because of the lack of kits.