Italy, UK explore possible COVID-19 link to child inflammatory disease

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Secretary of State of Health Matt Hancock arrives in Downing Street, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is examining whether there is a link between an inflammatory disease which severely affects children and COVID-19, a health official said on Monday, adding that it was too soon to say whether there was a link between the two.

Health minister Matt Hancock said he was “very worried” about reports of children struggling with severe symptoms that might have a link to COVID-19.

“We have become aware in the last few days of reports of severe illness in children which might be a Kawasaki-like disease,” Stephen Powis, national medical director for England, said, referring to a syndrome which causes inflammation of blood vessels, adding that the disease was very rare.

“I’ve asked the national clinic director for children and young people to look into this as a matter of urgency… We’re not sure at the moment. It’s really too early to say whether there is a link.”

Reporting by William James and Estelle Shirbon, writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison

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