UK COVID-19 Daily: Case Definition Published for Rare Child Syndrome

Tim Locke

May 02, 2020

These are the UK coronavirus stories you need to know about today.

Case Definition Published for Rare Child Syndrome

UK paediatricians have published a working definition of an inflammatory syndrome affecting a very small number of children that may be linked to COVID-19.

The working definition includes:

  • A child presenting with persistent fever, inflammation and evidence of single or multi-organ dysfunction with additional features. This may include children fulfilling full or partial criteria for Kawasaki disease.

  • Exclusion of any other microbial cause.

  • SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing may be positive or negative.

Dr Mike Linney from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said in a news release: "This new case description aims to include a range of all the possible symptoms and diagnostic information which doctors can use to make decisions about how to treat a child who may have the condition. 
"There is no one sign or symptom which alone would indicate that a child has the condition. Doctors can use the definition to look for a pattern of combined symptoms. All of these children were extremely unwell, with features suggestive of sepsis such as a persistently high temperature coupled with rapid breathing, cold hands and feet and sleepiness. The other symptoms varied greatly in the different cases."

NHS National Clinical Director for Children and Young People, Simon Kenny added: "This is helpful guidance for frontline NHS staff on this condition."

Deaths and Case Data

Another 621 UK COVID-19 deaths were announced today taking the total to 28,131.

Of the 370 deaths in hospitals in England patients were aged between 38 and 100. Of these, 25 aged between 43 and 91 had no known underlying health condition.  

Dr Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer for England, gave the Downing Street briefing an update on the latest data.

More than 105,000 tests were carried out or put in the post in the last 24 hours.

On new cases: "There's likely to be a drop off because of the reduction in the number of positive cases but there will then start to be a bit of an increase again … as we consistently test through hospitals." 

On hospital bed occupancy: "Over the last week, the number has actually decreased by just over 13%."

On critical care bed use: "In all countries in the UK we've seen the rise as the peak in the epidemic has moved on and those case numbers now are starting to come down." 

On deaths: "The 7 day rolling average gives us an indication of just how the death rate is now starting to come down very gradually, very slowly." 

NHS and Healthcare Deaths

Among recently announced NHS deaths were:

Dr Furqan Ali Siddiqui, a 50-year-old plastic surgeon who'd been working on the COVID-19 front line at Manchester Royal Infirmary. 

Wythenshawe Hospital Adult Burns Centre tweeted: "It is great sadness that we have to say we have lost one of our own.

"Furquan will be sadly missed by all those who knew him and worked with him."

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh tweeted: "We are deeply saddened to hear the loss of Dr Furqan Ali Siddiqui of Manchester Royal Infirmary due to COVID-19. Described as an ‘NHS Hero’ by his friends and colleagues, our condolences are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Gill Oakes, was a senior clinical support nurse at Bolton Hospice. Its Chief Executive Leigh Vallance, said: "Gill was the sort of person who always offered to help others - nothing was ever too much trouble for her.

"She was a brilliant nurse who often helped new members of the team settle into their role at the hospice."

In Memoriam: Healthcare Workers Who Have Died of COVID-19.

More News in Brief

  • A convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19 is to be tested at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London as part of the REMAP-CAP programme. Plasma from recovered patients is transfused into COVID-19 patients who are not producing enough antibodies. Dr Shankar-Hari from King’s College London is co-leading the trial. He said in a statement: "At the moment, there is no proven treatment for COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is a promising treatment that could help patients whose bodies aren’t producing enough antibodies to curb the disease. This trial will help us understand whether the treatment should be used more widely to treat COVID-19."

  • All residents and staff in care homes in Wales with outbreaks of coronavirus will be tested for COVID-19, the Welsh Government announced. Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: "At the moment, the evidence does not support the blanket testing of everyone who does not have symptoms. But, in a care home setting, where there are some people who have symptoms of coronavirus and others who do not, testing everyone, including those who do not, does have a purpose – we will be doing this to help manage outbreaks."

  • The latest public awareness campaign about the NHS still being open for other conditions focuses on routine vaccinations, including MMR. Dr Nikita Kanani, NHS England medical director for primary care, said in a statement: "While the NHS is taking unprecedented measures to protect people from coronavirus, local services are working hard to ensure that people including babies, children and pregnant women still receive their routine vaccinations."

  • One of Boris Johnson's baby son's names honours two doctors at St Thomas' Hospital in London who helped save the PM's life. His fiancee Carrie Symonds wrote on Instagram the names were: "Wilfred after Boris' grandfather, Lawrie after my grandfather, Nicholas after Dr Nick Price and Dr Nick Hart - the two doctors that saved Boris' life last month." In a joint statement, Dr Price, director of infection and consultant in infectious diseases, and Professor Hart, director of respiratory and critical care medicine at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust, said: "We are honoured and humbled to have been recognised in this way, and we give our thanks to the incredible team of professionals who we work with at Guy's at St Thomas' and who ensure every patient receives the best care. We wish the new family every health and happiness."

See more global coronavirus updates in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Centre.


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