NEW YORK — Sixty-four cases of children with a syndrome potentially linked to COVID-19 have been found across the US state of New York, the state’s health department said on Wednesday.
In an advisory issued to healthcare providers, the New York State Department of Health said that as of Tuesday, 64 suspected pediatric clinical cases compatible with multi-system inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 have been reported in children in hospitals statewide, including New York City.
“Thankfully most children with COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms, but in some, a dangerous inflammatory syndrome can develop,” said New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.
This syndrome has features that overlap with Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome, including persistent fever, abdominal symptoms, rash and even cardiovascular changes requiring intensive care.
The department asked health providers to immediately report those cases in patients who are under 21 years old, and perform a diagnostic and serological test to detect the presence of novel coronavirus or corresponding antibodies in the patient.
The advisory also said that similar cases among children have been recently reported from the United Kingdom.
“While we continue to reduce cases through social distancing, discoveries like this remind us we are still in the middle of our response to this deadly pandemic,” said Zucker.
On Tuesday, New York City officials said that 15 children in the city had been hospitalized with this rare syndrome. Over half of the children required blood pressure support and five required mechanical ventilation. No fatalities have been reported.