- New York is looking into the death of a 5-year-old child who died of coronavirus-related complications, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Friday.
- “This is every parent’s nightmare, right? That your child may actually be affected by this virus,” Cuomo said.
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New York is investigating the death of a 5-year-old boy who died on Thursday in New York City of coronavirus-related complications, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Friday.
“This is every parent’s nightmare, right? That your child may actually be affected by this virus. But it’s something that we have to consider seriously now,” Cuomo said in his daily coronavirus update from Poughkeepsie, New York.
“While rare, we’re seeing some cases where children affected with the COVID virus can become ill with symptoms similar to the Kawasaki disease or the toxic-shock-like syndrome,” he said.
Cuomo said the state recorded 73 cases of the disease in children, three of whom — all younger than 10 — died from the illness.
Doctors are labeling the mysterious illness “pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome,” and the state is investigating whether this illness has caused other deaths in children in recent weeks.
“This would be really painful news and would open up an entirely different chapter because I can’t tell you how many people I spoke to who took peace and solace in the fact that children were not getting infected,” Cuomo said.
While children do not usually develop severe or life-threatening symptoms from the coronavirus, experts say it’s possible that the coronavirus could exacerbate or at least be linked to symptoms of other diseases in children, including Kawasaki disease.
Kawasaki disease, though extremely rare — affecting approximately one in 10,000 children under the age of 5 annually — can be fatal if left untreated, but it is generally treatable, according to the Mayo Clinic. The disease causes inflammation in artery walls throughout the body and has symptoms such as fever, rash, and swelling of lymph glands.
Toxic shock, on the other hand, is caused by the overgrowth of bacteria, like staphylococcus, that release harmful toxins into the body. Children suffering from toxic shock can have flu-like symptoms, rashes, and fevers.
“Caution to all people who again may have believed that their child couldn’t be affected by COVID,” Cuomo said.
If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:
- Prolonged fever (more than five days).
- Difficulty feeding or holding down fluids.
- Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting.
- Pale, patchy, or blue skin color.
- Trouble breathing or rapid breathing.
- Racing heart and chest pain.
- Decreased amount or frequency of urine.
- Lethargy, irritability, or confusion.
Here are the other key takeaways from Cuomo’s Friday update:
- New York recorded 216 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, a slight drop from Wednesday. The state is up to 332,931 cases and over 26,000 deaths, according to the state’s Department of Health.
- The state has 8,196 hospitalizations, a sharp decrease from the peak of over 18,000 in April. New hospitalizations are staying flat at approximately 600 per day.
- “We haven’t killed the beast, but we’re ahead of it,” Cuomo said. “We are ahead of it, and we are in control of our own destiny.”
- The state has extended the deadline to file cases under the Child Victims Act to January 14 for sexual-abuse victims.
- Cuomo said that most new coronavirus cases were coming from mostly black and Latino communities, which is consistent with previous studies that showed black and Latino people had tested positive for the virus at higher rates than whites and Asians.
- Out of the 21 ZIP codes with the highest rates of infection, 20 have greater than average black and Latino populations, according to the state. “This is something that we’re going to address immediately,” he said.