Child health experts say there is no need to worry about a Kawasaki disease-like inflammatory syndrome in South Africa.

It’s believed that the condition, as seen in Europe and America, is an extremely rare complication of COVID-19.

Kawasaki disease mainly affects children under the age of five and presents with symptoms such as a rash, swollen glands in the neck as well as dry and cracked lips.

Paediatric Pulmonologist and Head of Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at University of KwaZulu-Natal Professor Refiloe Masekela says: “We think it’s a multi systemic inflammatory syndrome. It did look like Kawasaki but it looks like it’s probably a very distinct disease, so we think it’s something that happens if the immune system after it’s been primed by COVID-19. A few weeks later after a child has had an infection, they seem to have an adverse immune reaction to other virus but this is a very rare complication of corona virus disease.”

Medics cautioned to be on alert

Medics worldwide were cautioned to be on alert after over 200 children in Europe were affected by the inflammatory syndrome last month.

Two children also succumbed to the condition, one in Britain and the other in France.

World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has since asked health authorities across the globe to be on alert and understand the syndrome better.

-Additional reporting by Reuters.