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The Explainer: What is the mysterious syndrome linked to Covid-19 that's affecting children?

A syndrome linked with Covid-19 is being seen in the UK – but has it been seen in Ireland? That’s what we’re looking at in this week’s podcast.

ON 27 APRIL, a national alert was issued in the UK for healthcare professionals, warning them about potential links between a life-threatening syndrome being seen in children, and Covid-19.

Over a month earlier, on 21 March, a case of this syndrome was recorded in Italy. In the intervening time, cases were seen in France, Spain and Portugal.  The World Health Organization put out an alert about the potential links between the syndrome and Covid-19 on 28 April, which was acknowledged by Ireland’s chief medical officer, Tony Holohan. 

Cases of the syndrome in children escalated in New York, with Governor Andrew M Cuomo saying that state officials now investigating 100 cases. Three deaths in the state have been linked to the syndrome.

But what is this syndrome, how is it linked to Kawasaki Syndrome – and how could it be connected to Covid-19? That’s what we’re looking at in this week’s episode of The Explainer. Our reporter Sean Murray gives presenter Sinéad O’Carroll the most up-to-date information on what we know about the syndrome, and what Irish medical experts have to say.  

Reading list

If you’d like to do some more reading about this topic, here are some of the sources we consulted during the making of this podcast. Click on the title of the publication to be brought to the article. 

  • The Pandemic Doesn’t Have to Be This Confusing (The Atlantic)

An essential read that explains why you might find yourself confused about what’s going on.

An in-depth look at how Covid-19 works and what happens if you contract it.

  • ‘Finally, a virus got me.’ Scientist who fought Ebola and HIV reflects on facing death from COVID-19 (Science Mag)

An extremely interesting story about a scientist and what he went through after contracting Covid-19.

  • Covid-19 impacting patients’ kidneys with many ending up needing dialysis (TheJournal.ie)

A closer look at the link between dialysis and Covid-19.

  • Coronavirus: ‘Covid toe’ and other rashes puzzle doctors (BBC)

You may not have heard of this before – what ‘Covid toe’ is and how to spot it.

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Source: The Explainer/SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter Sinead O’Carroll, producer Aoife Barry, assistant producer and technical operator Nicky Ryan, and executive producer Christine Bohan. Reporter was Sean Murray. Design by Palash Somani.

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