A mysterious new coronavirus-related illness has hit the headlines in recent weeks, after several cases were seen in children across the globe.
The illness is being described as an ‘inflammatory syndrome’, similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.
Until now, its link to coronavirus has remained unclear, with some children testing positive for COVID-19, and others negative.
Mr Hancock said: “It’s a new disease that we think may be caused by coronavirus and the COVID-19 virus, we’re not 100% sure because some of the people who got it hadn’t tested positive, so we’re doing a lot of research now but it is something that we’re worried about.”
Now, doctors at a Birmingham hospital claim that the illness ‘is caused by coronavirus.’
The doctors have treated eight children with the condition, who all tested negative for coronavirus via antigen tests.
However, an antibody test revealed that the children had all already had coronavirus, indicating there may be a link.
Professor Adam Cunningham, a doctor on the study, said: “None of the children were positive by PCR (swan test), yet all of the children were positive by antibody testing.
“If you clear the infection then there will not be virus there to detect.
“In response to infections, we often make antibodies, and these are usually detectable from 14 days after the first time you are infected.”
Doctors have now reported cases of the mysterious illness in the UK, the US, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
The first reports were in the UK, where there are believed to be at least 12 cases.
Meanwhile, France’s health minister, Olivier Veran, revealed earlier this month that the illness has been seen in ‘about 15 children of all ages.’
Speaking to Franceinfo, Mr Veran also confirmed that cases have been reported in Spain, Italy and Switzerland, listing fever, digestive issues and vascular inflammation as key symptoms.