Kawasaki like illness due to COVID-19: a review of the literature

  • Yulin Fang Ministry of Health Holdings, Singapore
  • Veeraraghavan Meyyur Aravamudan Department of Medicine, Woodlands Health Campus, Singapore
  • Gurusaravanan Kutti Sridharan Banner University Medical Centre, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States
  • Keyur Kamlesh Mehta Children’s Heart Institute, The Heart Program at Inova Children’s Hospital, VA, United States
  • Ramkumar Sekhar Department of Cardiology, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore
  • Nagendra Boopathy Senguttuvan Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, India
  • Indumathi Venkatachalam Department of Infectious Disease, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore
  • Muhammad Bilal Abid Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Hematology/Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States
Keywords: Kawasaki-like disease, COVID-19, SARS-COV-2


Introduction: Viral infections have been described as triggers for Kawasaki Disease (KD), a medium vessel vasculitis that affects young children. Akin to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, there is a similar rise in the incidence of KD in children affected with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) has been reported to induce an exaggerated systemic inflammatory response resulting in multi-organ involvement, particularly initiated with pulmonary parenchymal damage. This review article will discuss KD-like manifestations in COVID-19 patients in the pediatric cohort.

Methodology: Search terms “Kawasaki” “COVID-19” “SARS-COV-2” “PIM-TS” and “MIS-C” were used to look for relevant articles in PubMed and Google Scholar published in the last 5 years.

Results: There is some evidence to suggest that SARS-CoV-2 stimulates dysfunctional and hyperactive immune reactions mimicking KD in young patients.

Conclusions: Therapeutic options, both investigational and repurposed, include intravenous immunoglobulins, steroids and anticoagulation. More studies are required to evaluate the effectiveness of these treatment options.

How to Cite
Fang Y, Aravamudan VM, Sridharan GK, Mehta KK, Sekhar R, Senguttuvan NB, Venkatachalam I, Abid MB (2021) Kawasaki like illness due to COVID-19: a review of the literature. J Infect Dev Ctries 15:630-638. doi: 10.3855/jidc.14185
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