NEW YORK – Amid new concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on children, a Long Island, New York, hospital reported to our sister network NBC that they have seen a dozen critical minors in the past two weeks with similar inflammatory symptoms.

“Now we have at least
about 12 patients in our hospital who present themselves similarly, who
we think they have something to do with a COVID-19 infection, ”
said Dr. James Schneider, Director of Pediatric Critical Care at the
Cohen Children’s Hospital in Nassau County. “It is something that we are
starting to see across the country. “

Cohen is one of the local hospitals where pediatricians say they are concerned about the recent hospitalizations of previously healthy and seriously ill children with the same characteristics: reactions that resemble toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease, an illness. It causes inflammation in the blood vessels throughout the body and, if not treated quickly, can cause damage to the arteries and heart.

Symptoms may include fever for more than five days, rash, gastrointestinal symptoms, red eyes, and swollen hands and feet. In addition to a dozen cases at Cohen Children’s Hospital, a source from Mount Sinai Hospital says the number of cases in his pediatric intensive care unit grew this week compared to the two cases reported on April 28.

Pediatricians say that,
In addition to severe inflammatory symptoms, many of these children
they have in common is that they have tested positive for COVID-19 or
antibodies. Also, he claims that some of the children have tested negative for
coronavirus but are believed to have been exposed to the virus by members of the
family.

“The cases are scattered. Each center has one or two cases,” said pediatric cardiologist Dr. Nadine Choueiter of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

Although Dr. Choueiter
noted that cases are still rare, added: “Yes we are seeing them and it is
important to talk about it to raise awareness for pediatricians to understand
these symptoms and let’s treat them. “

Health authorities updated the list of symptoms of the disease, which already leaves more than 200,000 dead worldwide.

A spokesman for Mount Sinai declined to comment.

Our sister network NBC 4
also confirmed that there is at least one case at the Montefiore Medical Center and another
case of a boy in NYU Langone, who was released in the last days
after being treated for Kawasaki disease.

For his part, the Columbia Presbyterian spokesman did not respond to repeated requests from NBC New York about a published report of three cases at that hospital.

Doctors are now comparing notes and trying to find out if COVID-19 is causing an overreaction of the immune system in some previously healthy children, perhaps even weeks after being exposed.

“The interesting part is
that we are now seeing these patients, “said Dr. Schneider, adding
that the question remains “Is this a typical increase in disease
from Kawasaki or is this the answer after having the COVID-19? “

Doctors point out that
it is also possible that these cases are not related to the coronavirus,
but it is difficult to know, since health officials do not require that
Track such symptoms in children. It is still unclear whether officials
Public health venues have begun counting these cases to determine if
there is an increase.

The Department of Health of the
New York City seemed unaware of local cases when our chain
NBC sister first asked about the concerns of doctors in
a press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 29.

“We have not seen this
to date, “said Health Department Commissioner Oxiris
Barbot.

Two days later, on May 1, when NBC New York requested an update, Commissioner Barbot said she is trying to learn more about any possible threats to children’s health.

“We are looking at
Close this, “Barbot said.” My team has contacted the
pediatric hospitals for more information on specific cases that
are concerned, indicating an inflammatory cardiovascular response in children
that had not previously been observed. “

Barbot said that he also
had personally contacted the New York coroner who is
trying to gather information about children abroad who may have
died after developing these symptoms. Pediatricians and officials of
British health also issued a warning on April 26 about a
possible link between the two diseases, COVID-Kawasaki, in young children.

“It just shows
that the coronavirus does not spare any age group and can cause
very serious illnesses, even in children, “said Dr. Schneider.

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