A 14-year-old boy with no underlying health conditions has died from a Kawasaki-like disease linked to coronavirus.
Doctors who uncovered the disease at Evelina London Children's Hospital saw the first eight cases involving kids aged four to 14.
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Two tested positive for coronavirus, including the 14-year-old who died, and four of the eight were from homes with a family member suspected or confirmed to have had the virus.
The hospital has now treated more than 40 children for the "hyper inflammatory" disease, after a "cluster" of cases was detected in south east London.
Kawasaki disease is a rare inflammatory disease which usually affects children under five years old.
It can cause high temperatures, swelling and a red rash, and requires immediate hospital treatment.
Hospitals nationwide have been alerted to what experts describe as a "new phenomenon" linked to coronavirus.
Dr Sara Hanna, the Evelina's medical director, who described the timing of the outbreak as "suspicious", said: "We probably saw the first case in the middle of March.
"We had a child admitted with something very like Kawasaki – a bit like something we call toxic shock syndrome.
"In the last two weeks, we have just seen this cluster of children where some of them look very like Kawasaki.
"They have a high persistent fever, they have got red eyes, they have got a rash, they have got swollen hands and feet."
Signs of Kawasaki disease include:
- A rash
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Dry, cracked lips
- Red fingers or toes
- Red eyes
Doctors said blood tests were not testing positive for the virus in children, but other indicators were "remarkably similar" to those seen in adults with Covid-19.
Antibodies indicating recovery from Covid-19 were later found in about half the children.
Several children are still recovering in hospital and some have now been discharged, but similar cases have also been reported north of the river at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Dr Hanna said it was vital for children to wash their hands regularly and urged parents not to delay seeking medical help if a child becomes ill.
Mum Hayley Grix told how she she followed her gut instinct and rushed little Marley, three, to hospital when she realised her youngster's condition was spiralling.
He has since recovered but became very unwell with a "roaring temperature" bright red hands and feet, swollen glands and bloodshot eyes.
And another mum said her three-year-old son was reduced to a "lifeless zombie" while battling terrifying Kawasaki disease symptoms.
Chloe Knight, 22, from Edinburgh shared little Freddie Merrylees' story as the NHS issued a warning about the mysterious new "coronavirus-related" condition.
It comes after Boris Johnson yesterday urged the British public to trust in "common sense" as he laid out his 50-page roadmap to easing Britain's coronavirus lockdown.
The PM yesterday published a lengthy plan to get the country back to school and work without risking a huge second wave of infections, but many of the key details are still missing.
Last night he gave a statement outlining the three stages of his plan, and yesterday's document features some of the small print.