The New York State Department of Health has now identified 124 cases of an inflammatory illness related to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that is impacting children, teenagers, and young adults, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that number is expected to increase
Cuomo said the state is closely monitoring the illness, which has quickly spread and claimed the lives of three New Yorkers under the age of 18.
“Sixteen other states have now seen cases that they’re investigating, which happened once the Department of Health explained what they’ve been looking at, as well as six European countries,” he said. “We’re looking at the same situation, and I expect this is only going to grow.”
Cuomo said that “New York is leading the way on research” into the illness, and that the state and country need to “understand all we can as fast as we can when it comes to our children.”
“This is impacting children who are between 1 and 21 years old, so parents should be aware and informed of this,” he added. “When you look at the (110) cases and see the span (in age), that’s a frightening development.”
According to health officials, the illness has presented itself mostly in children who had previously been exposed to the virus, or have the antibodies that show they previously had COVID-19.
“Parents should be aware and informed of this,” Cuomo said. “It’s a situation that is serious and concerning.”
The illness displays symptoms similar to those of Kawasaki disease or toxic shock-like syndrome.
”Pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome (PMIS) is a new health condition appearing in children in New York and elsewhere,” officials said. “Some doctors think the condition is related to having COVID-19, but the connection is still not clear.”
“We must remain vigilant, because we’re still learning,” Cuomo added. “The fact is in many ways while we’re still learning about this virus, it’s changing and it’s also learning at the same time.”
Predominant symptoms of the COVID-19-related illness, according to the Department of Health, include:
- Prolonged fever of more than five days;
- Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting;
- Bloodshot eyes;
- Skin rash.
Other symptoms include:
- Change in skin color – becoming pale, patchy, and/or blue;
- Difficulty feeding (infants) or is too sick to drink fluids;
- Trouble breathing or is breathing very quickly;
- Racing heart or chest pain;
- Lethargy, irritability, or confusion.
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