British doctors are studying blood compounds in children afflicted with an inflammatory syndrome linked to the coronavirus with hope that they could be indicators of who is most likely to develop a severe case. Since last month, hundreds of children around the world have been diagnosed with the new illness, which has symptoms consistent with Kawasaki disease, including skin flare-ups, high fever, rash, and swollen arteries. Imperial College London researchers are studying five different types of blood markers that were detected in high levels in children who have fallen very ill. It is still unclear, however, whether they can be useful to doctors, The Guardian reports.
“We think they can help us decide which children are at risk of progressing to cardiac failure,” said Michael Levin, a pediatric professor at Imperial. England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, has allowed researchers to further study whether the compounds can help doctors identify children who are at higher risk of the life-threatening condition.