New York investigating 100 cases of severe coronavirus-related illness in children

More than 100 children in New York are suspected of having a mysterious inflammatory illness believed to be connected to the coronavirus, New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Broadway to fully reopen in September Mets, Yankees to open vaccination sites to fans before games MORE (D) said Wednesday. 

The state’s department of health is investigating 102 cases, including three deaths, of children believed to have the illness, which is referred to as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome. 

The disease is thought to be related to COVID-19 because all of the children have either tested positive for the virus or its antibodies, Cuomo said. 

“As a parent, I can tell you this is a parent’s worst nightmare,” Cuomo said, noting that children were initially thought not to be seriously affected by the coronavirus.

“This is truly disturbing.” 

Another 14 states, including California and Georgia, are also investigating cases, he said. Five European countries, including Spain and Italy, have also reported instances of the mysterious illness. 

The symptoms are wide-ranging and include a fever lasting more than five days, severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting, bloodshot eyes and skin rash. Other symptoms include change in skin color, such as becoming pale, patchy or blue; difficulty feeding; trouble breathing or breathing too quickly; racing heart or chest pain; lethargy; irritability; or confusion.

The illness tends to be severe, with 71 percent of suspected cases being admitted to intensive care units; 43 percent remain hospitalized, Cuomo said. 

Experts have said the illness is similar to Kawasaki disease, a rare illness that causes inflamed blood vessels, typically in young children.