What there is to know
- 73 children in New York State were diagnosed with a recently identified disease associated with COVID-19 that some doctors call “pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome”
- Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday that a 5-year-old boy in New York died Thursday of the disease, and Westchester officials confirmed the second death last week of a 7-year-old boy
- Doctors say in some cases children take up to 6 weeks after exposure to the virus to show symptoms of this disease
New York now has 73 cases of children with a new pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome likely linked to COVID-19 – and at least two children have died from the disease, said Governor Andrew Cuomo and Westchester County officials on Friday.
A complication of the coronavirus that the state did not even recognize a week ago, this new disease is now observed across the country and affects both newborns and adolescents.
Doctors said at a Westchester County press conference on Friday that some children had no symptoms until 4 to 6 weeks after exposure to the virus. County officials said a 7-year-old boy died there last week of the new condition, and Cuomo said a 5-year-old boy in New York died on Thursday.
The state issued an advisory on the syndrome and its potential association with COVID-19 in children on Wednesday afternoon. He was sent to all local health facilities, clinical laboratories and health departments in the state to inform providers of the condition as well as to provide advice on testing and reporting. Any suspected cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome in people under the age of 21 should be reported to the State Department of Health.
As the review noted, “Although most children receiving COVID-19 have only mild symptoms, in the UK a possible link has also been reported between COVID-19 pediatric and severe inflammatory disease . Inflammatory syndrome has features that overlap Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome and can occur days or weeks after acute COVID-19 disease. These can include persistent fever, abdominal symptoms, skin rashes, and even cardiovascular symptoms requiring intensive care. is essential. “
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New York City released its own medical alert earlier this week after identifying more than a dozen children in city hospitals suffering from the rare disease. At least one expert believes there will certainly be more children affected.
The syndrome was seen in 15 children hospitalized from April 17 to May 1 in the city, according to Demetre Daskalakis, Deputy Commissioner of Disease Control for the New York City Health Department. Although the full spectrum of the disease is not yet known, said Daskalakis, features of Kawasaki disease and toxic shock have been observed in patients 2 to 15 years of age.
Doctors at a Long Island Children’s Hospital have noticed that at least a dozen child patients who have had COVID-19 in the past few weeks have become ill, all with the same symptoms: fever, rash, and other inflammatory symptoms that look like toxic shock and Kawasaki disease, which can lead to life-threatening heart damage if left untreated. Report by Melissa Russo of NBC New York.
“We’ve seen more than 15 of them … We see them every day requiring intensive care admission every day,” said Dr. Steven Kernie, professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and chief of care medicine intensive care at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of the New York Presbyterian. He said they see one or two children every day with similar symptoms.
“What we are seeing are children who have had a high fever – more than 102 or 103 – for three to four days,” added Kernie. “They tend to get a rash anywhere on their body, including the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet. They may have abdominal distress. Their eyes may be very red. They look sick. “
He believes it is not a primary infection but the child’s immune response to exposures that had occurred weeks before.
Four of the 15 children tested positive for COVID-19 and six tested positive for anti-coronavirus antibodies, which means a previous infection.
The city’s health department may only recognize severe cases at this stage, but a doctor familiar with the disease believes there will be many more to come.
“It is happening all over Europe,” Dr. Jane Newburger, Kawasaki program director at Boston Children’s Hospital, told NBC News. “This is definitely happening in various cities on the East Coast and parts of the Midwest. “
Newburger said the disease can present itself as a “post-immune reaction to COVID,” which means the body appears to be overcompensating and essentially fighting a disease that no longer attacks the body – perhaps even weeks after contracted a virus like COVID-19.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Tuesday afternoon about the cases found in the city, saying “we have not seen any dead yet, but we are very concerned about what we are seeing. We are learning more every day ”about how COVID-19 affects the body. It is a fierce disease. “
The mayor also said the city would require health care providers to report any cases of people under the age of 21 being treated for these symptoms.
How to identify symptoms early
So what are the symptoms of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome? The New York Department of Health said the 15 children had fever and more than half said they had rashes, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea. Although it was considered a direct symptom of COVID-19, less than half of the city’s pediatric patients had shortness of breath.
Any child who has symptoms related to Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible, as the health department has stated that early recognition and referral from a pediatrician to a specialist are essential, including admission to intensive care units if necessary. Starting treatment quickly can help prevent damage to terminal organs and other long-term problems, Daskalakis said in the city’s medical alert.
Dr. Newburger suggests that any parent who finds that their child has a fever and “doesn’t look well” should call their pediatrician and see a doctor.
Mount Sinai confirms reports of unusual new COVID-19 illnesses in several pediatric patients.
Mount Sinai Hospital has previously confirmed information from NBC New York that they are seeing the unusual new COVID-19 disease in several pediatric patients, compared to only two on April 28. The hospital’s head of pediatric intensive care warned parents to be on the lookout for certain symptoms.
In a statement, Dr. George Ofori, director of pediatric intensive care at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, said, “Some of the cases that we are currently treating have entered our care, with symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and grade fever. Others first presented with a rash, conjunctivitis and / or chapped lips.
Dr. Ofori said that some patients developed heart problems and low blood pressure which led to shock. He said some were diagnosed with COVID-19 2-3 weeks before the symptoms started.
“If the underlying condition is COVID-19 or the body’s response to COVID-19 is not known at this time. Although it is too early to say definitively what is causing it, we think it is important to alert the public to what we are seeing, “he said.
A different source told NBC New York that some of the children had no previous underlying health problems.
Report by Melissa Russo of NBC New York.
The Mount Sinai statement came two days after Dr. Ofori’s counterpart at Cohen Children’s Hospital on Long Island told I-Team in an interview that they had seen a dozen severely pediatric patients sick in recent weeks with similar inflammatory symptoms.
“We now have at least about 12 patients in our hospital who present themselves in the same way, who we think have some [COVID-19] “Said Dr. James Schneider, director of pediatric intensive care at the Cohen Children’s Hospital in Nassau. “This is something that we are starting to see across the country. “
An almost tragic case
Cohen is one of many local hospitals where pediatricians are concerned about recent hospitalizations of previously healthy children who fell seriously ill with the same characteristics, resembling toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease, a An autoimmune disease that can be triggered by a viral infection and if not treated quickly, it can cause fatal damage to the arteries and the heart.
One child who went to Cohen’s Children’s Hospital is Jayden Hardowar, 8, who was apparently in good health before he suddenly suffered cardiac arrest one night.
In late April, Jayden started to have a fever and bouts of diarrhea. His parents took him to his pediatrician, and soon after, he seemed to respond well to Tylenol. Mother Navita Hardowar said that his temperature had broken after a few days and that he had never been short of breath. Although Jayden’s father, Roup, said that his son’s strength had not really returned, they were not too worried because they thought it might be due to diarrhea.
A family in Queens tells their story of almost losing their young son to a virus that they say was not supposed to target children. Now they are warning other parents. Report by Melissa Russo of NBC New York.
Her mother said she noticed something was really wrong when she was sitting in bed with the child, and saw her son’s head and hands twisted in an unorthodox position toward back.
“I quickly looked at his face and his lips were all blue at the time, so I knew right away that something was wrong here with Jayden,” said Navita Hardowar. She started shouting his name, but he didn’t answer. The boy’s brother and father practiced CPR, and soon he was rushed to the Jamaica hospital before being rushed to Cohen’s Children’s Hospital in Nassau County.
In Jayden’s case, it only took five days for a healthy boy to pass playing games and singing to need a machine to help him breathe for several days, unable to talk to his parents who tried to video chat with him from his hospital bed. . His parents said he suffered from inflammation and suffered from cardiac arrest and heart failure.
Papa Roup still doesn’t know how his son got the virus. “None of us – six of us at home: two adults, four children – none of us had been sick. We have all been very strong and we practice social distancing very diligently … we thought we were safe, “he told me.
Fortunately, Jayden was finally good enough to be removed from the ventilator over the weekend, three days after being rushed to hospital. Although he still finds it difficult to speak, his parents said their boy was more reactive on Sunday when they spoke to him, and they hope to see him at home soon.
“It just shows that COVID spares no age group and can cause very serious illnesses, even in children,” said Dr. Schneider.
Scott Gotlieb, former FDA chief and New York emergency room physician, echoed these feelings during an appearance on CNBC, saying the new cases appeared to refute the previous idea that the coronavirus “did not really affect patients.” children ”.
“We certainly know that there are children who have been hospitalized, who have fallen very ill, but now it seems that there are unusual phenomena that affect children – not in large numbers, these still seem to be small medical reports the literature – but there are unusual syndromes that children develop, possibly due to the coronavirus, “said Gottlieb on CNBC.