COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

Perspective from Audrey R. Odom John, MD, PhD
Disclosures: Cuomo reports no relevant financial disclosures.
May 11, 2020
2 min read

New York announces deaths of children from illness linked to COVID-19

Perspective from Audrey R. Odom John, MD, PhD
Disclosures: Cuomo reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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Three New York children have died from a serious illness that may be related to COVID-19, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced. The illness has symptoms that resemble Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.

As of Sunday, New York said it was investigating 85 reported cases of the illness that is being referred to as “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19.” Cuomo said the children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, or were found to have antibodies specific to the virus, but presented with different symptoms.

“It’s not a respiratory illness. They are not in respiratory distress, and I think that’s why this may be getting discovered this far into the process,” he said.

Cases have been reported in several other countries, and in numerous other places in the United States. According to the New York State Department of Health, symptoms include elevated inflammatory markers, fever, abdominal symptoms, rash, myocarditis and other cardiovascular changes.

“This is the last thing we need at this time with all that’s going on, with all the anxiety we have,” Cuomo said Saturday during a press conference. “We still have a lot to learn about this virus, and every day is another eye-opening situation.”

Cuomo announced that the CDC has asked New York to develop a national criteria for the illness, so that other states and hospital systems can check for it.

“This is new and it’s developing,” he said.

Cuomo noted that, until now, the clinical manifestations of COVID-19 had appeared to be less severe in children than adults.

“We were laboring under the impression that young people were not affected by COVID-19,” he said. “That was actually good news. One of the few rays of good news was that young people were not affected. We are not so sure that that is a fact anymore.” – by Ken Downey Jr.

Disclosure: Cuomo reports no relevant financial disclosures.