Chances of Kiwi kids contracting mysterious syndrome linked to Covid-19 'very low', but authorities on the lookout

Health authorities are keeping alert for a mysterious syndrome spotted in children linked to Covid-19 overseas, but they say it's unlikely to cause serious issues in New Zealand.


Paediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS) has symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome, including a high fever, rash, swelling and gastrointestinal issues.

International efforts are still underway to find out how widespread it is and its link to Covid-19.

However the Ministry of Health warns it's a fairly uncommon complication.

No cases linked to Covid-19 have been recorded in New Zealand to date.

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"The chances are very low of it occurring in New Zealand children with our current low Covid-19 rates," a Ministry of Health spokesperson told 1 NEWS.

"We're not expecting to see patients with this association, however we'll certainly be watching."

Kawasaki disease itself is also uncommon in New Zealand and can be caused by a number of different infections, the Ministry of Health says.

Most kids who come down with the disease have "really good outcomes", with complications uncommon.

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"Any children that present with Kawasaki-like symptoms this year will be treated in the way we would usually treat Kawasaki, and we would also look to see if they had any exposure to Covid-19."

Of New Zealand's 1499 confirmed and probable Covid-19 cases, 138 have been children under 18 years old.

All but four of the children have already recovered.