Five-month-old identical twins in the UK have confounded doctors after one suffered a rare, coronavirus-related disease while the other one remained the picture of health, according to a report.
Hannah Godwin, 35, of Risca, Wales, noticed that her daughter Leia had a rash and high temperature while her sister Thea was “healthy and happy,” the Mirror reported.
Leia was rushed to the Royal Gwent Hospital three weeks ago and was treated for an inflammatory disease in young kids linked with an extreme reaction to COVID-19, according to the news outlet.
“It got difficult for her to breathe and she got transferred to critical care,” Godwin said. “She went through a scary time. God knows what could have happened if she hadn’t had the treatment early on.”
The stricken girl’s arteries ballooned to an alarming size.
“The consultant said, ‘If there’s a rupture she’s not going to survive,’” her mom said.
Leia was transferred to Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales in Cardiff, where she tested positive for antibodies to COVID-19.
Doctors plan to perform genetic testing on Lea and to carry out blood tests on her sister to try and figure out why she did not have the same reaction – as the link between Leia’s illness and the coronavirus remains unclear.
The chief scientist of the World Health Organization has expressed doubt about such a link.
“Very recently there have been some reports of children getting admitted with a strange syndrome, something that looks like sepsis, something that looks like a disease called Kawasaki disease, which causes inflammation in the blood vessels,” Dr. Soumya Swaminathan told the BBC.
“Now, it’s not very clear what the links are between COVID-19 and this syndrome. There are some children who tested positive for the virus and some who haven’t,” Swaminathan said. “The WHO has discussed this with a group of international pediatricians about how to approach this, and the need to collect more data.
“We put out a note two days ago, which requests doctors to provide information in a standardized format so that we can quickly learn as much as possible about the syndrome,” he added. “But again to re-emphasize, the risks to children are extremely low with this infection, and there have not been many cases.”
In a post on Facebook, Godwin and her husband Simon, 33, said they hope Leia will be home soon.
“She’s super happy and playful and rolled from front to back twice yesterday. Shame some milestones are while she’s in here but tomorrow we should have a plan of attack to get her home if we’re really lucky,” they said Sunday.