WACO, Texas – As medical professionals work toward discovering solutions for COVID-19, another illness doctors believe is linked to the virus is causing growing concerns nationwide.
While doctors are in their early stages of research, they say the Kawasaki-like illness is something parents should be on the look out for when it comes to their children.
The illness mostly affects a child’s heart – causing him or her to develop an aneurism – which doctors describe as the ballooning of the coronary arteries.
“That can lead to heart attacks, and that’s what people have been watching for. And actually, they’ve seen in some of the patients that have been found to have Kawasakis in different parts of the country during the COVID epidemic,” said Dr. Edward Dominguez.
Dominguez is an adult infectious disease specialist at the Methodist Dallas Medical Center, and he’s been on the front lines working with COVID-19 patients in the DFW Metroplex. He says there’s now a concern there might be a link between COVID-19 and Kawasaki’s in children.
“This link is not firm right now, but it certainly appears to be a little more than coincidental that we’re seeing these two things at the same time,” Dr. Dominguez said.
Unlike COVID-19, this disease isn’t new. He says it was originally described in Japan in 1967 – predominately in children. Historically, it was often associated with deep cleaning.
“When people would deep clean their carpets, in particular, it was noted that when people did that there seemed to be more cases of Kawasaki that came from households where there had been some deep cleaning involved,” he said.
So far doctors believe the link Kawasaki has to COVID-19 is probably not an infectious link, but it has something to do with what we’re doing to try and prevent the virus.
He outlines what symptoms parents should pay closer attention to:
“Fever, rash and chest pain. Those are the things that we’re worried about. Or if the child begins to act differently, acts tired for no reason at all. That might imply that the heart is starting to become inflamed, and that would be the time for a child to be evaluated very quickly,” said Dr. Dominguez.
He says those with COVID-19 should do their child a favor by staying away until they fully recover.
“A COVID adult needs to try to isolate him or herself from other members of the household, and now we feel it’s important that they do that – particular with children,” he told FOX44.
You can watch the full interview below: