A RARE condition affecting children under five may be linked to a strain of coronavirus, but it is only affecting "a small number of children."

Public Health Wales confirmed that over the past few weeks, a small number of children across the UK had been taken to hospital with symptoms similar to those of Kawasaki disease, including a high temperature that lasts for five days or more, along with a rash; swollen glands in the neck; dry, cracked lips; red fingers or toes; or red eyes.

A Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health spokeswoman said between 75 and 100 cases of children showing Kawasaki disease-like symptoms had been reported across the UK, and they are now conducting an investigation to learn more about the condition.


"When we have those results, they will be looking at all the cases we have seen over the past two months," she said. "This includes the mild cases where children were absolutely fine and did not need to go to hospital.

"It will look like a big increase in numbers because at the moment we have only heard about the serious cases."

The NHS reports the condition affects about eight in every 100,000 children.

A Public Health Wales spokesman said the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health had issued a warning a possible link between these symptoms and a strain of coronavirus.

“In recent weeks, paediatricians and paediatric intensive care specialists have identified a small number of children presenting to hospitals across the UK with signs of circulatory shock and a hyper-inflammatory state," he said. "Some children presented with symptoms similar to toxic shock syndrome and others had symptoms consistent with Kawasaki Disease, a rare inflammatory condition.

“On May 1, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health issued a health briefing warning of a possible link with these hyper-inflammatory syndromes and SARS-CoV-2 [a strain of coronavirus].

“Also on May 1, Public Health Wales issued a briefing note to all health boards in Wales to raise awareness of this condition and offer management advice to clinicians in the event they are presented with such a case.

“Investigations by The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, as well as clinicians from across the UK, are ongoing to learn more about this rare condition."

If your child is showing symptoms, see your GP urgently, or call 111 if you can't speak to a GP, especially if your child is less than six months old.