COVID-19 May Be Linked To Rare Inflammatory Disease In Young Children
Last Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the media revealing that currently 15 states including his are investigating cases of a strange and rare inflammatory illness experts suspect may be linked to COVID-19.
The governor said last Tuesday that on May 13 New York launched an investigation of about 100 cases of the syndrome in kids.
He said that 5 European countries are also looking into cases of the strange illness that was first found in Europe.
Since May 4, 64 potential cases of the illness, called ‘Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19’, have been reported in children.
“Because it happened after the fact and does not present as a normal COVID case, it may not have been initially diagnosed as a COVID case,” the governor said.“COVID cases are normally respiratory. This is not predominantly respiratory. It’s an inflammation of the blood vessels, which could affect the heart.”
There have been 73 reported cases in NY of children getting severely ill with symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock-like syndrome.
On Thursday, a 5-year-old boy passed away from these complications, believed to be caused by COVID-19.
DOH is investigating.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 8, 2020
Researchers in Italy, the UK, and Spain warned doctors in April to be aware of the condition.
The condition affects organs and blood vessels and its symptoms are similar to those of toxic shock and Kawasaki disease. Three New York kids have passed away due to the syndrome and Cuomo urged all hospitals to make testing children for COVID-19 with these symptoms a priority.
Around 3000 children in the United States are diagnosed with Kawasaki disease every year. It usually affects children younger than six and especially boys. It was first reported in Japan but occurs all over the world.
The strange syndrome was the reason for a conference call last weekend with medical experts including US and international health officials, according to a statement the Kawasaki Disease Foundation made last Thursday. They came to the conclusion that children suffering from the illness should be treated by experts at hospitals where intensive care is readily available since some kids with the condition become sicker rapidly.
Doctors are still of the mind that most children with COVID-19 develop the illness mildly.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 9, 2020
In New York, which since May 13 has reported around 52 children suffering from the syndrome, Mayor Bill de Blasio recently called on parents to speak to their pediatricians right away if their children show symptoms including abdominal pain, vomiting, skin rash, and persistent fever.
While rashes, abdominal pain, and fever are common symptoms, some children in New York have also suffered from heart inflammation, requiring intensive care. Most of them showed evidence of current or past coronavirus infections.
Doctor Fauci agrees that children, on the whole, are much safer from COVID-19, but noted fresh reports of severe illness among kids and said that the way the virus affects them has still not been understood.
“It’s a wide array of symptoms, as you can see, which makes it even harder for a parent to know exactly what they’re dealing with,” Governor Cuomo said. “If your child has been exposed to someone who had COVID, even if it was several weeks ago, that is a special alert in this situation.”
Dr. Fauci last Tuesday spoke at a Senate committee on the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response saying that in general children do better than grown-ups against the virus but stressed that we still have much to understand about it.
“For example right now, children presenting with COVID-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome very similar to Kawasaki syndrome,” he said. “I think we better be very careful that we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects.”
See NBC New York’s report regarding the condition in the video below.
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