WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The New York State Health Department reported that a majority of patients inflicted with a rare inflammatory syndrome tested positive for COVID-19, suggesting a “potential association” between the two illnesses.
- The department issued a directive to medical providers to immediately report such cases and immediately test the patients for COVID-19.
- Children younger than 5 are most at risk for the inflammatory syndrome also known as Kawasaki disease.
A rare and fatal inflammatory disease associated with the coronavirus has struck 64 children in the state of New York, the state Health Department reported on Wednesday.
The department issued a directive to medical providers to immediately report cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome (Kawasaki disease) and immediately test patients for COVID-19.
“As of May 5, 2020, sixty-four (64) suspected pediatric clinical cases compatible with multi-system inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 have been reported in children in New York State hospitals, including New York City,” read the advisory from Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.
According to the advisory, a majority of patients with the inflammatory syndrome tested positive for COVID-19, suggesting a “potential association” between the two illnesses.
Multi-system inflammatory syndrome, or Kawasaki disease, is a rare childhood illness that causes inflammation of the walls of blood vessels in the body. It is usually characterized by a fever that lasts for five days or longer, rashes, redness in the eyes, and swollen glands in the neck.
The advisory stressed the importance of “early recognition by pediatricians and prompt referral to an in-patient specialist.”
The advisory also served as a reminder that while older adults are at risk for severe COVID-19 illness, children can still get sick. Children younger than 5, in particular, are most at risk for the inflammatory disease.
In New York City, four of 15 kids between the ages of 2 and 15 who showed symptoms of Kawasaki disease tested positive for COVID-19.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter on Tuesday, “We haven’t seen any fatalities yet, but we are very concerned by what we’re seeing. We’re learning more every day about how COVID-19 affects the body. This is a ferocious disease.”
Source: New York Post