Throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic, doctors and experts across the medical community have seen children to be relatively unscathed by COVID-19.
But this week, a new sense of urgency has kicked in to determine whether the novel coronavirus poses a threat to children that hadn’t previously been recognized after a mystery inflammatory illness has left three children dead in the state of New York.
“One of the few rays of good news was young people weren’t affected [by COVID-19], Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Saturday. “We’re not so sure that that is the fact anymore.”
Last week, state officials warned that dozens of children across the state had been hospitalized with a “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome.”
According to Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, deputy commissioner of the New York City Health Department’s Division of Disease Control, symptoms vary from patient to patient, but “include features of Kawasaki disease or features of shock.”
The state has said many of the children being observed had tested positive for COVID-19 or had its antibodies. But many did not present with typical coronavirus symptoms, such as respiratory distress.
“It’s more of an inflammation of the blood vessels, which can then cause problems with their heart.” Cuomo said Saturday.
The state now knows of 73 children with the syndrome. According to state officials, the three children that died were a teenager, a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old.
Researchers still don’t know whether coronavirus caused the syndrome, which has since been reported in Seattle, California, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain.
“We still have a lot to learn about this virus,” Cuomo said, assuring that health officials are further investigating the mysterious illness that may be linked to COVID-19.