Kawasaki syndrome cases among children increased 30-fold in Italy

Italian scientists said they found a 30-fold increase in the number of patients with Kawasaki syndrome in Bergamo province during the coronavirus pandemic compared to previous years. The data was published on Wednesday, 13 May in the Lancet magazine.

The researchers said the outbreak of Kawasaki’s disease was recorded in the paediatric ward of a hospital in Bergamo Province. In particular, between January 1, 2015 and February 17, 2020, 19 children with symptoms similar to Kawasaki syndrome were admitted to the hospital. However, from February 18 to April 20, 2020, 10 children with Kawasaki syndrome were admitted to the hospital and 8 of them had confirmed coronavirus.

“We report a large number of cases similar to Kawasaki syndrome in the province of Bergamo after the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic with a monthly morbidity that is at least 30 times higher than the monthly morbidity in the previous 5 years and a clear start. The starting point is considered to be the first case of COVID-19 that has been diagnosed in our province,” says one of the researchers’ conclusions.

Scientists emphasize that the disease is still rare in children – no more than one child in 1000. However, experts recommend taking into account the relationship between Kawasaki syndrome and coronavirus when removing restrictive measures.

Kawasaki syndrome is a necrotizing systemic vasculitis with lesions of the middle and small arteries. It is manifested by fever, changes in the mucous membranes and skin.

The day before it became known that the number of recovered patients, in whom coronavirus was previously detected, was more than half of the total number of detected cases in Italy.