Mysterious Illness is Striking Children Amid the Pandemic — but is it Kawasaki Disease?

Updated August 10, 2020

The Conversation published an article by Mark D. Hicar, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases, who finds that the link between Kawasaki disease and a mysterious illness striking young children infected with COVID-19 is premature. Hicar notes differences in symptoms, impact on the heart, age of patients and location of new cases between the two diseases. “Perhaps studying these new cases will shed much needed light on the cause of Kawasaki disease, a disorder that has perplexed pediatricians for a half-century,” says Hicar. “As both conditions appear to incite a large inflammatory response in certain children, continued research is needed to provide the ‘how’ for the new COVID-19-associated cases and the ‘what causes it’ for Kawasaki disease.” The story was picked up by several other news outlets.