Cuomo expects potentially COVID-19-related disease in kids is 'only going to grow'

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New York State’s health department is now investigating 108 cases of a Kawasaki-like illness in children that is potentially linked to COVID-19. In his daily coronavirus press briefing held Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he expects the number of cases “is only going to grow.”

Cuomo said 16 other states, Washington D.C. and six European countries had reported instances of the illness, which is being “temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2” as well. On Thursday, New York published first-in-the-nation criteria for health care professionals and is hosting a webinar.

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Suspected and confirmed cases of what is being called “Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome” (PMIS) are now required to be reported to the state’s health department.

Cuomo said New York’s cases have involved children under 1 year of age through 21, and that it seems to present in children who were previously exposed to the COVID-19 virus. On Wednesday, he said 60 percent of the then-102 cases had tested positive for COVID-19, while 40 percent had tested positive for antibodies.

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Over 70 percent of the cases resulted in an ICU admission, while 19 percent required intubation and 43 percent of cases remain hospitalized. There have been three fatalities in the state involving children ages, 5, 7, and an 18-year-old.

“Parents should be aware of this,” Cuomo said Thursday while listing several symptoms to watch out for.

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Those symptoms include prolonged fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, bloodshot eyes, skin rash, change in skin color, difficulty feeding, trouble breathing, racing heart, lethargy, irritability or confusion.

“We need to understand all we can as fast as we can when it comes to our children,” he later tweeted.