5-year-old Girl Suffers From Kawasaki Disease Weeks After COVID-19 Recovery
Her parents, both working as frontliners are "warning more cases of Kawasaki disease could happen if schools open".
As we inch closer to the end of Circuit Breaker in Singapore on 1 June, we can expect more businesses, services and even schools to reopen. While some parents—whether in Singapore or anywhere around the world—are looking forward to schools to reopen, it is understandable that some parents may experience some anxieties over the return of their children to schools, with others even warning of its dangers.
Just like the parents of Scarlett, a 5-year-old girl from the United Kingdom (UK) who was said to have contracted the coronavirus in school before the UK went on lockdown.
Suffered From Kawasaki Inflammatory Response
Despite having recovered from “a mild bout of COVID-19 five weeks ago”, Scarlett’s parents said she later suffered from a Kawasaki inflammatory response and was admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Leeds General Infirmary.
She is currently fighting for her life from Kawasaki disease that is “believed to be a reaction to coronavirus”, her dad Piers Roberts said.
According to him, the disease inflames blood vessels and his daughter “was given just a 20% chance of survival”.
Despite being “fit and well” after recovering from the coronavirus, she was hit by a multi-organ failure.
And this “dreadfully intimate personal experience” has led to Scarlett’s parents—both working as frontliners—in “warning more cases of Kawasaki disease could happen if schools open”.
Scarlett’s mum and dad who is a doctor and teacher respectively, said that they “see firsthand how schools will be the next frontline” with the UK government proposing “to bring back to school full year groups on 1st June”.
Heart Problems Developed in Little Fighter
While Scarlett is “now off the ventilator” from the Kawasaki inflammatory response, she has developed heart problems, her great aunt, June, shared in a series of tweets.
She later provided a further update on Sunday where Scarlett “had to go to theatre to have a second line put in”.
“Her heart is doing scary things. Her mum says it’s a routine procedure and should make the next few days easier for her.”
While Scarlett’s dad said that his family has been left “broken” by his daughter’s battle for her life, they were also “inexpressibly grateful” to the hospital staff for taking great care of her.
On the Road to Recovery
Especially “while so little is known about the illness”, sending children back to school is what the dad considers as an “unconscionable risk” and “one [they] cannot take”.
“I want to get back to face to face teaching. However, I don’t want my daughter as an experiment. The torture is real,” the dad said.
The little fighter is on the road to recovery and even “wants to get back to her pet snake” her great aunt said.
Kawasaki Disease and Coronavirus
Health officials in several countries like the UK, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and Switzerland have reported a rise in cases resembling the Kawasaki disease in kids, and all these kids were exposed to the coronavirus.
The number of such cases are gradually increasing and medical experts are investigating the link between the two. In the UK, Kawasaki disease-type of symptoms were reported in at least 12 children, and in France, about 20 children between 3 to 17 years of age were showing symptoms associated with the Kawasaki disease.
Doctors at the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris believe that it might be a post-coronavirus infection disease, where the body’s immune system overreacts due to the infection. Although Damien Bonnet, Head of the Department of Paediatric Medical Cardiology, says that the disease mostly followed COVID-19, he also added that there is no certainty that there is a direct link between the coronavirus and the symptoms of the Kawasaki disease that were found in the children.
The World Health Organisation is investigating the possibilities of the link between COVID-19 and Kawasaki disease.
In Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said no children who have contracted COVID-19 has suffered from serious inflammatory symptoms
COVID-19 has infected 57 children aged 16 and younger—in Singapore—since the outbreak began in January.
MOH said none has had to be in the intensive care unit.
As of 6 May, 42 of these cases involving children have recovered.