(JAMAICA GLEANER) – Fifteen children, many of whom had the coronavirus, have recently been hospitalised in New York City with a mysterious syndrome that doctors do not yet fully understand but that has also been reported in several European countries, the New York Times reports.
Health officials announced Monday night that many of the children, ages 2 to 15, have shown symptoms associated with toxic shock or Kawasaki disease, a rare illness in children that involves inflammation of the blood vessels, including coronary arteries, the city’s health department said.
According to the Times, none of the New York City patients with the syndrome have died, according to a bulletin from the health department, which describes the illness as a “multisystem inflammatory syndrome potentially associated with COVID-19.”
Reached late Monday night, the state health commissioner, Dr Howard A. Zucker, said state officials were also investigating the unexplained syndrome.
The syndrome has received growing attention in recent weeks as cases began appearing in European countries hit hard by the coronavirus.
It was not immediately known whether children in other parts of the United States have come down with this illness.
New York City has been the centre of the pandemic.
Reports of children sick with the unexplained syndrome in New York City have been circulating for several days, but Monday’s bulletin was the first time the city’s health authorities warned doctors to be on the lookout for patients who might have it.
The bulletin said that most of the 15 children had a fever and many had a rash, vomiting or diarrhoea.
Since being hospitalised, five of them have needed a mechanical ventilator to help them breathe, and most of the 15 “required blood pressure support.”
“The full spectrum of disease is not yet known,” the bulletin said.
Of the 15 patients, most either tested positive for the coronavirus or were found, through antibody testing, to likely have been previously infected.