The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Friday that it is studying a possible link between COVID-19 and a rare childhood ailment, similar to Kawasaki disease, which has led to the deaths of children in the United States and Europe.
«Initial reports suggest that this syndrome may be related to COVID-19,» SAID WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference, calling for global collaboration to «better understand this childhood syndrome.»
«It is crucial to identify this clinical syndrome accurately and urgently, to understand its causes and describe protocols and treatments,» he added.
WHO and its global network of experts have a preliminary definition, Follow Me for Systemic Inflammatory Response (SRIS), ready, and has already made available to doctors a form for the declaration of any suspicious case.
Cases detected in the world are rare, and the role of the new coronavirus in its development is still unknown, said Michael Ryan, who is responsible for emergency programmes at WHO.
«We don’t know if it’s the virus that attacks cells or if it’s the immune response» that causes inflammation, as happened in the case of Ebola fever, he explained.
The disease has been worrying health authorities in several countries for two weeks, even though the child population is rarely affected by the severe forms of COVID-19.