15 NYC kids hospitalized with rare illness 'possibly' linked to coronavirus: officials

Kimberly Dole
May 05, 2020 - 9:09 am
NYC Hospital

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- New York City health officials on Monday, flagged a perplexing, life-threatening syndrome, they say may be "potentially associated with COVID-19" after 15 kids have been hospitalized.

The syndrome was first reported in Europe with symptoms similar to toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki Disease and doctors say four of the 15 hospitalized also tested positive for the coronavirus.

 Six others tested positive for having COVID-fighting antibodies, according to the city’s Health Department said.

“If the above-described inflammatory syndrome is suspected, pediatricians should immediately refer patients to a specialist in pediatric infectious disease, rheumatology, and/or critical care, as indicated,” Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, deputy city health commissioner for disease control, said in an alert to health care providers.

All patients had a fever and more than half reported rash, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting.

“Early diagnosis and treatment of patients meeting full or partial criteria for Kawasaki disease is critical to preventing end-organ damage and other long-term complications,” Daskalakis said. "Some patients also require intensive care for heart and respiratory problems.

Five of the patients, ages 2-15, reported respiratory symptoms and required mechanical ventilation but no fatalities have been reported.

The kids were hospitalized between April 17 and May 1.

"If your children or any child are experiencing these symptoms, particularly in combination, call your doctor right away," Mayor Bill de Blasio reported during his daily briefing on Tuesday.

He also added that the Department of Health instructed all NYC providers are now to report patients under 21 with these symptoms.