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Three children hospitalised with rare illness which may be linked to coronavirus


Healthcare worker

Healthcare worker

Healthcare worker

Three children in the Republic have been hospitalised with a mysterious 'inflammatory syndrome' thought to be caused by the coronavirus.

The children, who were treated in Dublin, have since recovered.

A rapid alert was issued by the Department of Health last week about the illness.

The illness has been likened to Kawasaki disease, a rare disorder which causes rashes and a red mouth and eyes.

Experts believe the illness is almost definitely caused by COVID-19 in some way but scientists can't prove it.

The young patients' lungs are not affected by it - in adults the coronavirus's main target is the lungs - and many test negative when they are swabbed for the disease.

Scientists believe it could be the consequence of the immune system response after it has fought off the coronavirus infection, causing a second illness weeks later.

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The same illness has been seen in Italy and China and around 100 children are known to have been diagnosed with it in New York where several have died.

Reports so far say children can have similar features to atypical Kawasaki Disease and toxic shock syndrome, which can include a high temperature, low blood pressure, a rash and difficulty breathing.

Some also had gastrointestinal symptoms - tummy pain, vomiting or diarrhoea - and inflammation of the heart, as well as abnormal blood test results.

Experts say these are the signs you can see when the body becomes overwhelmed as it tries to fight off an infection.

The alert advises these cases need urgent treatment.

A spokeswoman for Childrens Health Ireland representing the three children’s hospitals said today “there are no further cases of the seven'Kawasaki-like' presentations, of which 3 confirmed.

“All these patients have recovered.”

This comes as the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that another 13 people have died of coronavirus in Ireland.

There have now been a total of 1,604 coronavirus-related deaths in Ireland.

76 more people have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 24,582.

The HSE is working to identify anyone who had the patients may have had contact with to give them advice on how to prevent coronavirus spreading further.

Today’s data from the HPSC, as of midnight, Thursday (24,451 cases), reveals:

· 57pc are female and 43pc are male

· The median age of confirmed cases is 48 years

· 3,211 cases (13pc) have been hospitalised

· Of those hospitalised, 393 cases have been admitted to ICU

· 7,813 cases are associated with healthcare workers

· Dublin has the highest number of cases at 11,830 (48pc of all cases) followed by Cork with 1,420 cases (6pc) and then Kildare with 1,387 cases (6pc)

· Of those for whom transmission status is known: community transmission accounts for 60pc, close contact accounts for 38pc, travel abroad accounts for 2pc

Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland

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