“3 young New Yorkers” have now died from rare inflammatory disease possibly linked to COVID-19

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Three young New Yorkers have now died from a rare inflammatory disease, believed to be linked to COVID-19, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The first reported death was a 5-year-old boy who died on Thursday.

“These children happen to have the COVID antibodies or tested positive for COVID but those were not the symptoms they showed when they came into the hospital system,” Governor Cuomo said during Saturday’s press conference.

Health officials are referring to it as “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome,”  which is affecting children who show symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.

Symptoms include a fever, rash, conjunctivitis in your eyes, mucosal changes, and severe abdominal pain and vomiting. While patients don’t have to have all symptoms, patients do have a fever, usually up to 5 days.

“Rest assured the Dept. of Health is on top of this, this is the last thing we need at this time with all that’s going on and the anxiety we have, now for parents to have to worry about whether or not their youngster was affected,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo acknowledged there is a lot we don’t know about this virus.

Health officials aren’t sure if it’s related to COVID-19, which is why Cuomo said they are studying this rare disease. The New York State Department of Health is partnering with the New York Genome Center and the Rockefeller University to conduct a genome and RNA sequencing study to better understand the disease and the possible genetic basis of the syndrome.

“The Department of Health has communicated with the CDC and the CDC has asked New York to develop national criteria so other states and hospital systems can be checking into this looking into this,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said they would be sharing their findings with other states and hospital systems.

Rhode Island currently has no reported cases. However, these pediatric clusters seem to happen about 1 month after the peak of COVID, according to Michael Koster, pediatric and infectious disease specialist at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

 

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