Health Dept. issues advisory about COVID-related disease affecting children

Photo courtesy of the New York State Department of Health
The State Health Department has sent an advisory to all doctors and hospitals alerting them to a new ailment affecting children that is likely related to COVID-19. More than 60 cases have been reported in New York as of May 5.

The New York State Department of Health, under the direction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has issued an advisory to health care providers alerting them about a serious inflammatory disease affecting children throughout the state.

As of May 6, there have been 64 potential cases of the condition, called “Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19” reported in hospitals across New York state.

Health care providers, including hospitals and doctor’s offices, are required to report to the Department of Health all cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome potentially associated with COVID-19 in those under 21 years of age.

“Thankfully most children with COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms, but in some, a dangerous inflammatory syndrome can develop,” said New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. “While we continue to reduce cases through social distancing, discoveries like this remind us we are still in the middle of our response to this deadly pandemic.”

While most children who contract COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms, in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, a link has been found between pediatric COVID-19 and serious inflammatory disease. The inflammatory syndrome includes features which overlap with Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome and may occur days to weeks after acute COVID-19 illness.

It can include persistent fever, abdominal symptoms, rash, and even cardiovascular symptoms requiring intensive care.

The inflammatory syndrome may occur days to weeks after acute COVID-19 illness and may include a persistent fever, inflammation and organ failure.

Doctors are urged to not delay seeking expert advice while waiting for test results if this syndrome is suspected.