The health secretary has expressed his concern about a rare but serious new syndrome in children which has been linked to COVID-19.
Matt Hancock said a lot of research is being done on the new disease and “it is something that we’re worried about”.
Medical experts are investigating a possible link between the coronavirus pandemic and clusters of severe inflammatory disease among infants who are arriving in hospitals with high fevers and swollen arteries.
Mr Hancock said: “It’s a new disease that we think may be caused by coronavirus and the COVID-19 virus, we’re not 100% sure because some of the people who got it hadn’t tested positive, so we’re doing a lot of research now but it is something that we’re worried about.”
He added that while the disease is rare, it is “very significant” for children who do get it.
NHS officials said less than 20 children in England have been admitted to hospital with the syndrome, which causes a toxic shock-style inflammatory reaction.
They said there were currently no confirmed deaths related to the syndrome.
NHS England’s national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said it was “too early to say” whether the syndrome is linked to COVID-19, while chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said it was “entirely plausible”.