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PEDIATRIC DISEASE

Kawasaki disease in a COVID-19-struck region

Lancet https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31103-X (2020)

An increased incidence of Kawasaki-like disease in children has been seen in Bergamo, an area extensively affected by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Kawasaki disease is a severe disease that exclusively affects children. It causes acute inflammation of the blood vessels that is also linked to other inflammatory pathogenesis, such as macrophage-activation syndrome. It is thought to be triggered by previous infection.

Researchers in the Bergamo province of Italy evaluated the incidence and features of children diagnosed with Kawasaki disease before and during the recent COVID-19 outbreak. They found that there was a 30-fold increased incidence of the disease in the month that they analyzed relative to its incidence before the outbreak. These most recent cases also had unique presentation.

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Correspondence to Hannah Stower.

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Stower, H. Kawasaki disease in a COVID-19-struck region. Nat Med 26, 822 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0959-4

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