In a worrying development, a five-year old boy has died in New York from a rare inflammatory illness linked to the coronavirus, while the death of another seven-year-old boy is being investigated for possible links to the mysterious pediatric syndrome.
The New York State Department of Health is investigating several cases of the severe illness in children and child deaths that may be linked to the serious inflammatory disease called “Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19.”
There have been 73 reported cases in New York where children are experiencing symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock-like syndrome possibly due to COVID-19.
On Thursday, a 5-year-old boy died in the New York City from these COVID-related complications, Cuomo said.
Authorities are investigating the death of the boy to see if it is linked to the syndrome. “So, this is every parent’s nightmare, right? That your child may actually be affected by this virus. But it’s something we have to consider seriously now,” Cuomo said.
The Governor said that there is still a lot that is not known about COVID-19, “and in the beginning we were led to believe that the good news about this virus was it didn’t affect children.”
“Now we have a new issue that we’re looking at where some children affected with the COVID-19 virus are becoming ill with symptoms similar to the Kawasaki disease or toxic shock-like syndrome.
The State Department of Health has issued an advisory about the serious inflammatory disease. Parents have been advised to seek immediate care if a child has prolonged fever (more than five days), difficulty feeding (in infants) or is too sick to drink fluids, severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting, change in skin color, trouble breathing, lethargy, irritability or confusion.
Dr. Dial Hewlett of the Westchester County Department of Health told reporters that in cases where the children are being reported to have the syndrome, someone in the household had previously tested positive for the coronavirus. “And we know that in some of the households, parents or grandparents or others were diagnosed with COVID and were actually on the record being positive, and apparently the children did not develop symptoms until two to four days before presenting to the hospital for treatment,” he said.
Earlier this week, the New York City Health Department said that 15 children aged 2-15 years had been hospitalized from April 17- May 1 with Kawasaki disease or features of toxic shock. Of the 15 children, four had tested positive for COVID-19.
More than half of the reported patients required blood pressure support and five required mechanical ventilation. The syndrome has received growing attention in recent weeks as cases began appearing in European countries hit hard by the coronavirus.