Daily US Times: A mysterious illness has left officials alarmed and searching for answers as coronavirus infections increase. The illness is affecting children and could be linked to the coronavirus. Dozens of children have been hospitalized for the condition what doctors are referring as “pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome”.
Health officials said they believe that the mysterious illness could be linked to coronavirus. New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that three children have died because of it in the state.
Governor Cuomo said New York is investigating if the cases contradict the belief that children are less at risk for coronavirus and what other hospitals should look out for.
At least three New York youths have died from the illness, 5-year-old boy who died Thursday in New York City; a 7-year-old boy in Westchester County; and a teenager in Suffolk County. No names were released from the governor’s office.
There have been glimmers of hope in some coronavirus hot spots in the US amid frustration as states continue reopening.
The numbers of new daily cases, hospitalizations and intubations are declining in New York.
Other states also reporting the same, as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted that Saturday marked the lowest number of Covid-19 positive patients hospitalized in the state since hospitals started reporting that data April 8.
What are the symptoms of this mysterious illness?
Cuomo said, Pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome doesn’t show the hallmarks of coronavirus in the children who have been diagnosed. It presents symptoms similar to toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease.
Kawasaki disease causes inflammation in the walls of the arteries and can limit blood flow to the heart. It produces a high temperature lasting over five days, swelling of hands and feet, swollen neck glands, cracked lips, a rash, and redness in both eyes.
Children under age 5 are most commonly affected; and while the illness can be deadly, it is treatable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the US, Kawasaki is a leading cause of acquired heart disease, with complications that include coronary artery enlargement and aneurysms.
according to the US National Library of Medicine, toxic shock syndrome, meanwhile, is caused by a toxin produced by some forms of staphylococcus bacteria and involves fever, shock and problems with several body organs.
Pediatrician Dr. Glenn Budnick said: “Your immune system is overreacting to the virus, and because these are inflammatory diseases, this overreaction can cause a Kawasaki-like disease.”
How widespread are the infections?
New York Governor Cuomo said on Sunday that the state’s health department is studying the cases of 85 children, most of them tested positive for coronavirus or had positive antibody tests.
Seattle has reported a case in a healthy teenager who developed shock symptoms that sent him to the intensive care unit and a team at Stanford Children’s Hospital in California has also reported a case. Similar cases are being reported internationally.
Pediatric specialists said, a small number of children in the United Kingdom have recently become ill with the rare syndrome that could be linked to coronavirus. Cases like those have been reported in Spain and Italy as well. Gastrointestinal symptoms, abdominal pain and cardiac inflammation are common in those cases, UK experts said.
What are officials saying?
Cuomo said: “It’s still very much a situation that is developing, but it is a serious situation.”
He said, New York’s Department of Health is communicating with the CDC and federal officials over the cases, and the CDC has asked the state to develop national criteria so the healthcare professionals around the nation know what to look for.
To understand the situation better, the department of health is working with the Rockefeller University and New York Genome Center to conduct a genome and RNA sequencing study. The potential risk for children comes at a time of heightened anxiety as coronavirus has killed more than 79,000 people in the United States.