The age ranges and places of residence have been released for two children and a teenager who died of possible complications from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) involving swollen blood vessels and heart problems.
According to health officials, “while rare, we are seeing evidence that COVID-19 can cause severe illness in children.”
Statewide, there have been 73 reported cases of the syndrome, which is marked by symptoms are similar to Kawasaki disease, a rare inflammatory condition in children,and toxic shock-like syndrome. Most of the cases involve elementary-age children and toddlers.
The three young New Yorkers who died from the illness are:
- A 5-year-old New York City boy, who died at a Manhattan hospital
- A 7-year-old Westchester boy, who died at a Valhalla hospital
- A teenager from Suffolk County
“This is the last thing that we need at this time, with all that is going on, with all the anxiety we have, now for parents to have to worry about whether or not their youngster was infected,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The infected children tested positive for COVID-10 or antibodies, but “those were not the symptoms they showed when they came into the hospital system," Cuomo said, calling the illness “the priority for us today.”
The CDC has asked New York to develop a national criteria for the illness, and the state is also working with the NY Genome Center and Rockefeller University to conduct a study to help us better understand it.
"This is a frightening new development, but rest assured we are doing everything we can to learn more and keep parents informed," Cuomo said.
About 3,000 children, most boys under age 5, are diagnosed with Kawasaki disease in the United States each year.
Parents should seek immediate care if a child has:
- A 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 or frequency of urine;
- Lethargy, irritability, or confusion.
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