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Kawasaki-Like Disease Incidence Up After Start of SARS-CoV-2

Children diagnosed after start of SARS-CoV-2 were older, had higher rate of cardiac involvement

THURSDAY, May 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of Kawasaki-like disease increased after the start of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic in the Bergamo province of Italy, according to a study published online May 13 in The Lancet.

Lucio Verdoni, M.D., from the Hospital Pap Giovanni XXII in Bergamo, Italy, and colleagues examined the incidence and features of patients with Kawasaki-like disease diagnosed during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. Patients with Kawasaki-like disease in the past five years were divided into symptomatic presentation before or after the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic (groups 1 and 2, respectively).

Group 1 included 19 patients diagnosed between Jan. 1, 2015, and Feb. 17, 2020, and group 2 included 10 patients diagnosed from Feb. 18 to April 20, 2020. Eight of the 10 patients in group 2 were positive for immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin M, or both. The researchers found that groups 1 and 2 differed in terms of disease incidence (0.3 versus 10 per month), mean age (3.0 versus 7.5 years), cardiac involvement (two versus six patients), Kawasaki disease shock syndrome (zero versus five patients), macrophage activation syndrome (zero versus five patients), and the need for adjunctive steroid treatment (three versus eight).

"We reported a strong association between an outbreak of Kawasaki-like disease and the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in the Bergamo province of Italy," the authors write. "A similar outbreak of Kawasaki-like disease is expected in countries affected by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic."

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