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COVID-19: Number Of Children Hospitalized In NYS With Mysterious Shock-Like Illness Jumps To 64

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Photo Credit: Pixabay

A total of 64 children have now been hospitalized in New York State with a rare, shock-like, life-threatening inflammatory syndrome potentially associated with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), health officials said.

That new number reported Wednesday, May 6 has increased from a total of 15 a day earlier. Those 15 cases were all in New York City. The newly reported 64 cases are statewide.

The mysterious disease, first reported in the United Kingdom and other European countries nearly two weeks ago, is multi-system inflammatory syndrome. Symptoms have been "characterized by persistent fever and features of Kawasaki disease and/or toxic shock syndrome; abdominal symptoms common."

The first 15 children hospitalized "had a subjective or measured fever and more than half reported rash, abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea," the NYC health department said. "Respiratory symptoms were reported in less than half of these patients."

Cases are now also being reported in Atlanta, Detroit and the District of Connecticut.

The New York Health Department issued an alert Wednesday afternoon to all healthcare facilities, clinical labs and local health departments in the state to inform providers of the condition as well as to provide testing and reporting guidance. 

Any suspected cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome in people under the age of 21 must be reported to the State Department of Health.

"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 health department's alert said. "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."

Kawasaki disease (KD), also known as Kawasaki syndrome or mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome. It is a rare childhood illness with symptoms including high temperature that lasts for five days or longer, swollen glands in the neck, rashes and redness in the eyes.

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