Syndrome, Possibly Related To COVID-19, Striking NY Children

GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING/Friday, May 8

Syndrome, Possibly

Related To COVID-19,

Striking NY Children

73 Infected; 5-Year-Old In New York City Dies

POUGHKEEPSIE – In his daily briefing, Governor Cuomo today announced Kawasaki disease, which may be related to COVID-19, has stricken 73 children in the state, and is responsible for a 5-year-old boy’s death yesterday in New York City.

The state Department of Health is investigating several cases where children are experiencing a toxic-shock-like syndrome possibly due to COVID-19, and is working with the CDC to develop a “case definition” to determine whether the cases under investigation are definitely associated with the syndrome.

At Cuomo’s direction, the health department has issued an advisory about what’s also called Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19,” to inform healthcare providers of the condition, as well as to provide guidance for testing and reporting.

Health care providers, including hospitals, are required to report suspected cases in those under 21 to the health department.

New Yorkers should seek immediate care if a child has:

  • Prolonged fever (more than five days)
  • Difficulty feeding (infants) or is too sick to drink fluids
  • Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Change in skin color – becoming pale, patchy and/or blue
  • Trouble breathing or is breathing very quickly
  • Racing heart or chest pain
  • Decreased amount of frequency in urine
  • Lethargy, irritability or confusion

Though most children who get COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms, in the United Kingdom, a possible link has also been reported between pediatric COVID-19 and serious inflammatory disease. The inflammatory syndrome has features which overlap with Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome and may occur days to weeks after acute COVID-19 illness. It can include persistent fever, abdominal symptoms, rash, and even cardiovascular symptoms requiring intensive care.

Early recognition by pediatricians and referral to a specialist including to critical care is essential. Molecular and serological testing for COVID-19 in children exhibiting the above symptoms is recommended. The majority of patients have tested positive for COVID-19, some on molecular testing for SARS-COV-2, others on serological testing.


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