A rare COVID-19-related inflammatory syndrome has been blamed for the deaths of at least five children in New York and for sickening at least 93, according to the governor's office.
The New York City health department issued an advisory to city doctors early last week, warning them of symptoms of the mysterious condition reported in more than a dozen city kids.
City and state health officials launched an investigation and confirmed close to 100 cases of the multi-system inflammatory syndrome, affecting blood vessels.
Three children have died from the condition and two more juvenile deaths are under investigation.
Mayor Bill de Blasio urged parents to be aware of warning signs seen in children:
- Low energy
- Lack of appetite
- Extra-red lips or tongue
The COVID-related syndrome described in New York patients is consistent with similar cases documented in Europe.
"As it turns out, these children happened to have the COVID antibodies, or be positive for COVID, but those were not he symptoms they showed when they came into the hospital system," Governor Andrew Cuomo said over the weekend.
Similar cases have been reported across the U.S. The state Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control to develop a national criteria for states to identify, track and respond to help children exhibiting symptoms.
New Jersey is investigating eight possible cases of the illness. Connecticut is investigating three potential cases.
Cuomo called the situation "every parent's nightmare."
Doctors in New York say children are not showing symptoms until 4 to 6 weeks after exposure to the virus.
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