Coronavirus News: 2 NY children die to mysterious illness possibly linked to COVID-19

Saturday, May 9, 2020
2 NY children die from mystery illness possibly linked to COVID-19
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Both children tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, and presented with inflammatory symptoms.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY -- Two children in New York have died to the mystery illness possibly linked to COVID-19.

Westchester County officials announced Friday that a child being treated for a mystery illness believed to be linked to the coronavirus has died.

The illness, called Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19, prompted an advisory to healthcare providers to immediately report any related symptoms.

County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said officials are still assessing whether underlying conditions were a factor in the death of the child, who was being treated at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital.

Physician-in-Chief Dr. Michael Gewit described it as, "more of an encephalitis picture, brain, neurologic problem that may or may not have been identical to the rest. It was an unusual presentation, and that child did not do well."

RELATED: Kids sick with mysterious illness possibly linked to COVID-19; symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease, TSS

There are currently 11 children ranging in age from a few months old to teenagers hospitalized at Maria Fareri with the inflammatory disease, adding to the 73 children statewide hospitalized from the mysterious illness.

Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a 5-year-old boy in New York City had died from COVID-related complications, but it was not immediately clear if the child was also being treated for the inflammatory syndrome.

The boy passed away Thursday night at Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital, which has been treating several children with a similar condition.

In nearly all cases, the children have tested positive for COVID antibodies, meaning they were infected but asymptomatic and only becoming ill four to six weeks after exposure.

RELATED: Illinois coronavirus: Suburban boy, 6, battles mysterious illness possibly linked to COVID-19

A 6-year-old Chicago boy is also hospitalized at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital battling a mysterious inflammatory illness that mimics symptoms of Kawasaki's Disease and appears to be linked to COVID-19.

The boy was immediately placed in the intensive care unit. At first, doctors thought he had Kawasaki's disease because Nolan's symptoms were similar, but they realized it was something different.

"It is definitely an inflammatory response to the virus because all of his inflammatory markers went up, a lot of heart enzymes went up," his mother said.

The possible link has also been reported in the United Kingdom between pediatric COVID-19 and serious inflammatory disease. The inflammatory syndrome has features which overlap with Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome and may occur days to weeks after acute COVID-19 illness.

It can include persistent fever, abdominal symptoms, rash, and even cardiovascular symptoms requiring intensive care.

Health officials say early recognition by pediatricians and referral to a specialist including to critical care is essential, and molecular and serological testing for COVID-19 in children exhibiting the above symptoms is recommended.

The majority of patients have tested positive for COVID-19, some on molecular testing for SARS-COV-2, others on serological testing.

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