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Third child in NY dies of illness linked to coronavirus, Cuomo says

Posted at 4:18 PM, May 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-09 17:20:13-04

NEW YORK — Another child has died from a rare illness linked to COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

In New York, there are now three fatalities and at least 73 cases related to the illness, according to state officials.

Many of the sick children have tested positive for COVID-19 or the virus antibodies, Cuomo said. They are very young — mostly toddlers and elementary-school age, the governor said, adding that this new development in the pandemic is “truly disturbing.”

“We thought initially … that young people were not affected by COVID-19,” Cuomo said before acknowledging that the virus likely has been impacting children since the beginning of the outbreak.

The governor declined to offer further details about the third child who died. On Friday, officials confirmed the deaths of a young boy in Westchester as well as a 5-year-old boy in New York City.

Several other child deaths with similar circumstances are also being investigated, according to officials.

Medical experts are calling the rare illness “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome,” which causes the walls in the blood vessels to become inflamed.

Symptoms are similar to Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome, and include:

  • Prolonged fever (more than 5 days)
  • Difficulty feeding (infants) or too sick to drink fluids
  • Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting
  • Change in skin color (pale, patchy, blue)
  • Trouble breathing
  • Racing heart/chest pain
  • Decreased amount/frequency of urine
  • Lethargy, irritability, confusion

Parents who notice these symptoms should call their doctor immediately.
Cuomo said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has requested the New York Department of Health develop national criteria for identifying and responding to the syndrome.