Hospitals were told Tuesday to prioritize testing of children showing symptoms of an inflammatory disease that has similarities to Kawasaki disease and may be linked to Covid-19.
The state is investigating about 100 reported cases where children are experiencing several symptoms such as fever and severe abdominal pain. The illness, labeled Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19, has killed three young New Yorkers, including a 5-year old in New York City, a 7-year old in Westchester County and a teenager in Suffolk County.
“We have been behind this virus every step of the way and even as we are now beginning to see the numbers on the decline, the virus is still surprising us,” Cuomo said. “Initially we thought COVID-19 didn’t affect children, and now we’re dealing with a disturbing issue where we have about 100 cases of an inflammatory disease in children that seems to be created by the virus,” Cuomo said.
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
Early recognition by pediatricians and referral to a specialist is considered essential. The majority of patients have tested positive for COVID-19, some on molecular testing for SARS-COV-2, others on serological testing.