Parents issue warning on mystery inflammatory syndrome linked to Covid

Parents issue warning over fears their children are suffering from mystery ‘inflammatory syndrome’ linked to coronavirus that has similar symptoms to Kawasaki disease

  • Becky White from west Yorkshire feared for son Freddie after six weeks of illness 
  • He was given antibiotics and has recovered but Becky fears it may return soon
  • Suzanne Mawdsley from Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, has two children with it
  • Doctors were issued with an alert of a spike in infants in ICUs on Tuesday 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Mothers have given warnings to parents about a Kawasaki-like inflammatory disease affecting children that is believed to linked to coronavirus.  

Doctors were issued an alert about a sharp rise in the number of infants being admitted to intensive care across the UK with the mysterious disease on Tuesday. 

Becky White from Batley, west Yorkshire, said her 18-month-old son Freddie suffered a six-week illness she believes to be Kawasaki disease and she fears his symptoms returning.

Meanwhile, Suzanne Mawdsley from Radfcliffe, Greater Manchester, said two of her children suffered from the mysterious illness but displayed different symptoms.

Suzanne Mawdsley from Radfcliffe, Greater Manchester warned parents about the mysterious ‘inflammatory disease’ believed to be linked to coronavirus after her daughter Quin, 10,  developed a rash initially thought to be chickenpox

Her 19-year-old son is also believed to have had the condition but suffered different symptoms, with a large red mark appearing on his tongue (left)

Suzanne says ‘with my children their symptoms have been very different, so people should be aware that it might show itself in different ways’

Freddie White began having red sore eyes and a high temperature six weeks ago when the skin on his finger started to peel.

Becky phoned the GP who told her the symptoms sounded like they were viral and Freddie’s symptoms started to get worse. 

The mother-of-three said the peeling from his fingers and toes began to spread up his arms and legs and Freddie developed a red rash on his stomach and face.



Kawasaki disease is a condition that causes inflammation in the walls of the blood vessels and affects mostly children under five years old.

The inflammation can weaken the coronary arteries, which supply the heart with blood. This can lead to aneurysms and heart attacks.

The condition affects eight children out of every 100,000 and statistics show it is fatal in three per cent of cases that go untreated. 


The symptoms of Kawasaki disease usually develop in three phases over a six-week period, according to advice on the NHS’ website.

The first signs are a fever and a rash in the first few weeks, followed by the eyes of children becoming red and swollen. 

It can also cause the lips to dry up and crack, a sore throat, swollen lymph glands and the tongue to become red, the NHS warns. 

The second phase of Kawasaki disease often causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, joint pain and jaundice. 

In the third phase, symptoms tend to disappear but children ‘may still have a lack of energy and become easily tired during this time’. 


Toxic shock syndrome is a highly dangerous bacterial infection – but it can be misdiagnosed because the symptoms are similar to other illnesses and because it is so rare.

It occurs when usually harmless staphylococcus aureus or streptococcus bacteria, which live on the skin, invade the bloodstream and release dangerous toxins.

TSS has a mortality rate of between five and 15 per cent. And reoccurs in 30-to-40 per cent of cases.

Using tampons is a particular risk factor for TSS, according to the NHS. 


  • a high temperature
  • flu-like symptoms
  • feeling and being sick
  • diarrhoea
  • a widespread sunburn-like rash
  • lips, tongue and the whites of the eyes turning a bright red
  • dizziness or fainting
  • difficulty breathing
  • confusion

She was told on a video appointment with a doctor that Freddie had scalded skin syndrome and he was prescribed antibiotics, with symptoms expected to clear up in days.

However, they did not and Becky to Freddie to the hospital to be checked and Freddie was given fluids and Calpol along with antibiotics.

Becky said the antibiotics seemed to work somewhat but when he completed the course of antibiotics, the rash came back worse and covered his whole body.

She went back to A&E and Freddie was diagnosed with streptococcus, which is similar to scarlet fever with symptoms of a strawberry tongue, swollen glands, rash and peeling hands and feet. 

Freddie was prescribed a different course of antibiotics for ten days and is now symptom free after one day.

However, after reading about Kawasaki disease and a mysterious inflammatory condition that has been killing children across the country, Becky is worried Freddie’s symptoms may have been a sign of something worse.

Becky told ‘During this time on antibiotics we’ve had sleepless nights and a very distressed baby. 

‘Although Freddie has now picked up he still hasn’t completely recovered from the rash. 

‘He’s been off the antibiotics for one day now and my concerns now after seeing the news about Kawasaki are that his symptoms will come back.’   

Suzanne Mawdsley warned parents that symptoms of the disease can vary after two of her children suffered from it in different ways.

Her 19-year-old son Kane suffered a red mark on his tongue after experiencing a sore throat and temperature.

However, her ten-year-old daughter Quin developed a nasty rash on her face and neck that looked like measles.

While Kane recovered after taking paracetamol and swilling with salt water, Quin’s condition deteriorated after initially being diagnosed as chicken pox. 

She told MEN: ‘It was only on Monday when I saw on the news about these rashes and thought it looked similar to Quin’s. When I rang 111 they said it’s most likely Kawasaki.

‘If you’re in any doubt then it’s best to be sure and don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

‘With my children their symptoms have been very different too, so people should be aware that it might show itself in different ways.’ 

Quin did recover after being prescribed the antihistamine chlorpheniramine to ease the itching and her mum was told to seek further help if her condition worsened. 

Earlier this week health chiefs insisted they were ‘unaware’ of any deaths in British children from a serious ‘inflammatory syndrome’ thought to be linked to the coronavirus.

Up to 20 children were reported to have fallen critically unwell on Tuesday and Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted ‘some’ youngsters had mysteriously died with no underlying conditions. 

Hancock said he was ‘very worried’ by the mystery syndrome which experts think is caused by coronavirus infection. 

A mother from Lancashire, who does not wish to be named, shared shocking images of her two-year-old daughter with blotchy purple rashes across her entire body

Chloe Knight, 22, revealed her two-year-old son, Freddie Merrylees (pictured), became ill just before the lockdown and was ‘like a zombie’ due to Kawasaki disease. The youngster had a rash on his body, a high temperature, red eyes and struggled to eat and drink

Melanie Cook, 38, from Gypsyville, Hull, believes her one-year-old son George was struck down with the mystery disease in mid-March after suffering red, puffy eyes (shown), ‘violent vomiting’ and fatigue.

The illness appears to be similar to Kawasaki disease – which causes blood vessels to become inflamed, and toxic shock syndrome – an overreaction by the immune system which causes the body to attack its own organs. 

This has led to some parents linking the Kawasaki disease and the mysterious inflammatory condition together. 

Gemma Brown, from Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, told MailOnline her two-year-old son Bertie was admitted to hospital last month on his second birthday when his temperature soared over 40C (104F) and his blotchy rash began to turn black. 

And Melanie Cook, 38, from Gypsyville, Hull, revealed her one-year-old son George was infected with coronavirus when he was struck down with mystery symptoms in mid-March. 

Sabrina and Steve Legge, from Bath, Somerset, were left petrified that sons Dylan, 16, and Colston, 14, have the inflammatory syndrome after suffering from sickness, blisters on their tongues, diarrhoea and stabbing chest pains last week. The family claim their GP has refused to test the teens for coronavirus. 


EXCLUSIVE By Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Global Editor

A mother has told how her two-year-old son was rushed to hospital with a dangerous inflammatory syndrome thought to be linked to COVID-19.

Gemma Brown, 38, told MailOnline that her son, Bertie, was admitted to Worcestershire Royal hospital last month on his second birthday, when his temperature soared over 40C (104F) and his blotchy rash began to turn black.

Doctors were initially baffled but a senior consultant eventually diagnosed the boy with the rare Kawasaki disease, a form of toxic shock syndrome which causes the body’s immune system to attack its own organs.

But Bertie was not given a COVID-19 test, leaving both medics and his family in the dark about a possible link between Kawasaki disease and coronavirus.

Bertie Brown was admitted to Worcestershire Royal hospital last month on his second birthday after developing a fever and rash across his body

His temperature soared over 40C (104F) and the blotchy rash spread across his body and began to turn black. Doctors were initially baffled but a senior consultant eventually diagnosed the boy with the rare Kawasaki disease

‘I don’t know how the Government is going to prove there’s a link if they’re not testing patients,’ the mother-of-two from Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, said.

‘I asked for him to be tested, as I had a gut feeling that there was a connection between covid and Kawasaki.

‘Both attack your immune system and the whole family had been poorly with Covid symptoms before Bertie fell ill.

‘I was adamant that there was a link and was begging for a test, but they just told me that there was no need to test the under-fives.’

The boy was given an immunoglobin transfusion and was in hospital for five days. ‘It was horrific seeing him like that,’ Mrs Brown said.

His mother Gemma (pictured with Bertie and is older brother George, 14) believes his symptoms were a complication of the coronavirus. But Bertie (right) was not given a COVID-19 test, leaving both medics and his family in the dark about a possible link

‘He didn’t have any respiratory problems but he was put in a ward on his own and he was easily the most poorly child in the hospital.

‘His rash had started out being itchy, but it quickly put him in agony. His temperature was dangerously high and they were monitoring him round the clock.’

Bertie, who was born very prematurely weighing only 1.5lb, has always had a weak immune system, making him susceptible to viruses.

‘Thank God he is OK now and has come home, though he’s still on Aspirin to prevent his blood clotting,’ his mother said.

‘He’s much better in himself. But the fact is that we just don’t know what’s been going on as he wasn’t tested for coronavirus.’

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