DLatest alert, pediatricians are wondering about cases of children, some tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, presenting “multi-system” inflammatory states evoking an atypical form of Kawasaki disease.
This disease, described for the first time in 1967 in Japan, mainly affects young children. Its origin is not precisely known and could combine infectious, genetic and immune factors.
However, the link with the new coronavirus is not established at this stage.
Before these new questions, COVID-19 was known in severe cases to cause severe acute respiratory syndromes (SARS, SARS in English) and mainly attack the elderly and adults with risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, overweight, heart or respiratory failure.
Week after week, caregivers discover the peculiarities and complications associated with this new disease for humans as well as for medicine.
COVID-19 “can attack almost anything in the body with disastrous consequences” tells US trade magazine Science the Dr Harlan Krumholz, of Yale University.
This cardiologist in charge of collecting clinical data on the disease in the United States, adds: “his ferocity is impressive and invites humility.”
In its severe forms, clinicians realized that the disease could cause the immune response to skyrocket, with its now famous “cytokine storms” potentially leading to death.
Described for only twenty years, this phenomenon has been observed for other coronaviruses (SARS in 2003, MERS in 2012) and is suspected to explain the death of the “Spanish flu” in 1918-19 with nearly 50 million dead.
Part of the therapeutic research applies precisely to trying to appease this immune overreaction, as is the case with the promising trial of an immunomodulator drug, tocilizumab, carried out in France.
Loss of smell and to a lesser extent of taste has become one of the most reliable and distinctive markers of disease.
At the same time, clinical observations reveal possible neurological damage linked to the coronavirus in certain serious cases.