Ask the KD Experts: KD & COVID-19 Update

The following update was provided by Jane Burns, M.D. Professor and Director, Kawasaki Disease Research Center.

June 23, 2020

1. KD patients who are well, healthy people, with normal functioning hearts are at no increased risk over the general population of any complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
2. There is no reason to believe that individuals who had KD in the past are at increased risk for MIS-C. One theory that is being tested is that for individuals who had KD in the past, SARS-CoV-2 was not their trigger for KD. Therefore, they are not the right genetic background to develop MIS-C to the coronavirus. Their trigger was something else, their immune system has “learned” not to do that again (hence why, in general, people only get KD once), and there is no increased risk from this coronavirus.
3. KD adults and teenagers with severe heart conditions following damage from KD, like the general population, are at risk for adult-type COVID-19 and may be at greater risk for complications compared to healthy adults and teens. That said, symptoms in children from infection are extremely rare, and most infections are asymptomatic.

Jane C. Burns, M.D.
Professor and Director, Kawasaki Disease Research Center
Dept. of Pediatrics MC 0641
UCSD School of Medicine
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093-0641