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Mystery illness linked to COVID-19, children sees suspected NYC cases quadruple

Mystery illness linked to COVID-19, children sees suspected NYC cases quadruple
© getty: A child is tested for COVID-19 at a mobile testing station in a public school parking area in Compton, California

The number of cases of a mysterious illness affecting children that some health officials have linked to the novel coronavirus has quadrupled, growing from 15 cases to 64, according to a report by WLNY-CBS in New York.

Four out of the 15 cases reported on Tuesday tested positive for coronavirus, leading Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioVideo shows NYPD officers using patrol vehicle speakers to share 'Trump 2020' message Median rent in Manhattan falls below ,000 for first time in nearly a decade De Blasio's obsession with racial balance in schools has a clear victim: Asian students MORE (D) to address the concern.

"Even though it's uncommon, compared to the hundreds of thousands of people who have contracted this disease, it's still causing us concern," he said Tuesday.

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The CBS affiliate described the disease as puzzling, and said the illness is similar to a rare blood vessel disorder called Kawasaki syndrome. 

Of the first 15 cases, four children tested positive for COVID-10, while six of those testing negative had coronavirus antibodies, meaning they likely had the disease.  

The city's Department of Health issued an alert calling for hospitals to report similar cases if more are discovered.

Symptoms of the affected children include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, rashes, swollen lymph nodes, and inflamed eyes, the CBS affiliate reported.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the disease has also been reported in several European countries. 

At a World Health Organization (WHO) briefing last week that was noted by the Times, WHO scientist Maria Van Kerkhove said there were some "recent rare descriptions of children in some European countries that have had this inflammatory syndrome, which is similar to the Kawasaki syndrome, but it seems to be very rare.”