US doctors warned about coronavirus disease in children

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The federal Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned doctors about a serious rare inflammatory condition in children linked with the coronavirus.

In an alert issued on Thursday, the CDC called the condition multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children.

The agency’s case definition includes current or recent Covid-19 infection or exposure to the virus, a fever of at least 100.4 for at least 24 hours, severe illness requiring hospital admission, inflammatory markers in blood tests, and evidence of problems affecting at least two organs that could include the heart, kidneys, lungs, skin or other nervous system.

The name and definition are similar to those used in Europe, where the condition was first reported several weeks ago.

The condition has been reported in at least 110 New York children and in several in other states, with several children having died.

Virus Outbreak Inflammatory Condition Kids
An electron microscope image made available by the US National Institutes of Health shows the novel coronavirus, in yellow, emerging from the surface of cells (NIAID-RML/AP)

Reported cases have all involved children but the CDC said it was unknown if the condition can occur in adults.

Doctors have been told to be on the lookout for the condition and report suspected cases to local or state health departments.

It should be suspected in all deaths in children who had evidence of Covid-19 infection, the CDC said.

Children are less likely than adults to develop Covid-19 and their illnesses usually are less severe, although they can spread the disease without showing symptoms.

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