18/05/2024 8:08 PM

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More than 50 kids in New York City have coronavirus inflammatory syndrome, mayor says

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) speaks at a press conference about COVID-19 and the closing of K-12 public schools in New York City.

Michael Brochstein | Barcroft Media | Getty Images

New York City health officials are worried about a rising number of cases of a potentially fatal inflammatory syndrome that’s causing heart and kidney failure in children with Covid-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday. 

“This was not something that the healthcare community saw on their radar and then in the last week or two, suddenly, we’re seeing something that’s very troubling,” de Blasio said at his daily press briefing. 

There are 52 confirmed cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome and 10 cases pending. Of those cases, 25 children have tested positive for Covid-19 and 22 others had antibodies against the disease, suggesting they previously had the coronavirus and recovered. One child in the city has died from the disease, officials said. 

Health officials are still struggling to understand how the virus impacts people of different ages. Scientists originally thought kids couldn’t become severely ill from the coronavirus, but they have recently identified this rare  inflammatory syndrome similar to Kawasaki disease in children that have Covid-19 or the antibodies.

City officials said the symptoms in children differ from the most common coronavirus symptoms in adults, which include a sore throat, fever, dry cough and trouble breathing. They advised parents to immediately call their doctor if their child has a persistent fever, rash, abdominal pain and vomiting. 

“Prolonged fever, a rash, having really red bright lips, swollen hands and feet, they could have abdominal pains, all of these symptoms, especially if they come together, are concerning indications that these children need to be evaluated for in-patient treatments,”  Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said.

Most of the kids who have developed the inflammatory syndrome are between 5 and 9 years old,  she previously said. 

“This is something where the quicker a parents reports, then the quicker a healthcare professional can evaluate, the more chance of protecting the child and seeing them through this challenge safely,” de Blasio said.

The inflammatory disease is similar to Kawasaki disease, an illness that is most common in young children and causes high fever and swelling in blood vessels. 

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates. 

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