15 children hospitalised in New York with mysterious syndrome possibly tied to COVID-19

Fifteen children have been hospitalized in New York City with a mysterious syndrome potentially associated with the novel coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday in issuing an urgent health alert.

De Blasio said four of the children tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, while six had antibodies, suggesting they had been infected with the virus.

“We haven’t seen any fatalities yet, but we are very concerned about what we’re seeing.

“We’re learning more every day about how COVID-19 affects the body.

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“This is a ferocious disease,” the mayor tweeted.

He urged parents to seek immediate medical help if their child is experiencing a persistent fever, rash, abdominal pain, or vomiting.

“A pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, recently reported by authorities in the United Kingdom, is also being observed among children and young adults in New York City and elsewhere in the United States,” New York City’s health department said in a bulletin on Monday, noting the illness is “potentially associated with Covid-19.”

It said the patients, aged 2 to 15, showed symptoms associated with toxic shock or Kawasaki disease, a rare vascular condition in children.

More than half of the hospitalised children “required blood pressure support and five required mechanical ventilation,” according to the bulletin.

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New York City has been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.