More N.Y. chil­dren come down with a mys­te­ri­ous COVID-19 com­pli­ca­tion

100 cases probed of syn­drome af­fect­ing blood ves­sels, or­gans

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - NATION & WORLD - BY LISA MARIE PANE

NEW YORK — Am­ber Dean had re­cov­ered from a mild bout of the coronaviru­s and her fam­ily of five had just ended their home quar­an­tine when her old­est son, 9-yearold Bobby, fell ill.

“At first it was noth­ing ma­jor, it seemed like a tummy bug, like he ate some­thing that didn’t agree with him,” said Dean, who lives with her hus­band and three young chil­dren in the western New York town of Hor­nell. “But by the next day, he couldn’t keep any­thing down and his belly hurt so bad he couldn’t sit up.”

At the lo­cal hos­pi­tal emer­gency room, doc­tors sus­pected an ap­pendix in­fec­tion and sent him home with in­struc­tions to see his pe­di­a­tri­cian.

It was only later, af­ter Bobby’s con­di­tion took an alarm­ing turn for the worse, that doc­tors re­al­ized he was among the small but grow­ing num­ber of chil­dren with a mys­te­ri­ous in­flam­ma­tory syn­drome thought to be re­lated to the virus.

New York Gov. An­drew Cuomo said Tues­day that New York is now in­ves­ti­gat­ing about 100 cases of the syn­drome, which af­fects blood ves­sels and or­gans and has symp­toms sim­i­lar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock. Three chil­dren in the state have died and Cuomo ad­vised all hos­pi­tals to pri­or­i­tize COVID-19 test­ing for chil­dren pre­sent­ing with symp­toms.

In New York City, which has re­ported at least 52 chil­dren sick with the syn­drome, Mayor Bill de Bla­sio on Tues­day urged par­ents to call their pe­di­a­tri­cians promptly if their chil­dren show symp­toms in­clud­ing per­sis­tent fever, rash, ab­dom­i­nal pain and vom­it­ing.

That’s what Bobby Dean’s fam­ily did, even though they live in Steuben County, which has only 239 con­firmed cases of COVID-19 and is in a part of the state set to start re­open­ing some work­places on Fri­day.

The fam­ily doc­tor per­formed a coronaviru­s test the day af­ter his trip to the emer­gency room, but the results would take 24 hours. By that night, the boy’s fever had spiked, his ab­domen was swollen, he was se­verely de­hy­drated and his heart was rac­ing. His fa­ther, Michael Dean, drove him to Golisano Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal in Rochester, 90 min­utes away.

“At Rochester they did a rapid COVID test and it came back pos­i­tive,” Am­ber Dean said. For the next six days, she was at his hos­pi­tal bed­side while Bobby was hooked up to IV lines and a heart mon­i­tor. He came home on Mother’s Day.

“It never af­fected his res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem, it was his heart that it af­fected,” Dean said. In­flamed lymph nodes caused the ab­dom­i­nal pain, she said. “They’re hop­ing he pulls through with 100% re­cov­ery but they said there have been chil­dren with last­ing ef­fects.”

“It’s a pretty scary thing, watch­ing your child be hooked up to all these wires and IVs and there’s noth­ing you can do,” Dean said. “In my opinion, right now, I would not let your child out in pub­lic.”

Chil­dren else­where in the U.S. and in Europe have also been hos­pi­tal­ized with the con­di­tion known as pe­di­atric multi-sys­tem in­flam­ma­tory syn­drome.

In New York, the syn­drome has been found across a wide range of young peo­ple. A 5-year-old boy, 7-yearold boy and an 18-year-old woman have died.

About 23 per­cent of cases have oc­curred in chil­dren un­der age 5, about 29% be­tween the ages of 5 and 9, about 28% be­tween ages 10 and 14 and 16% be­tween the ages 15 and 19.

“This is a truly dis­turb­ing sit­u­a­tion and I know par­ents around the state and par­ents around the coun­try are very con­cerned about this, and they should be,” Cuomo said. “If we have this is­sue in New York it’s prob­a­bly in other states.”

Mean­while, Cuomo called face masks a sign of re­spect for oth­ers on a day the state re­ported 195 new deaths. Warn­ing that the state isn’t out of dan­ger yet, he urged New York­ers to wear masks out of re­spect for the nurses and doc­tors who have died to pro­tect peo­ple from the pan­demic, which he said had killed an­other 195 peo­ple.

There have been more than 4.2 mil­lion con­firmed cases of the virus world­wide and more than 287,000 deaths. Rus­sia has re­ported more than 232,000 con­firmed coronaviru­s cases and more than 2,100 virus-re­lated deaths as of Tues­day, fig­ures ex­perts say are likely sig­nif­i­cant un­der counts.

In Rus­sia, Krem­lin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was hos­pi­tal­ized with the coronaviru­s, the lat­est in a se­ries of set­backs for Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin as the coun­try strug­gles to con­tain the grow­ing out­break. The an­nounce­ment of Peskov’s hos­pi­tal­iza­tion came a day af­ter Putin an­nounced Mon­day that Rus­sia was eas­ing some of its na­tion­wide lock­down re­stric­tions.

Peskov is not the only top Rus­sian gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial to come down with the

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Com­muters wear­ing masks and gloves ob­serve so­cial dis­tanc­ing guide­lines on a sub­way es­ca­la­tor in Moscow. Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin has de­clared an end to a par­tial eco­nomic shut­down but has or­dered many re­stric­tions to stay in place.

DEAN FAM­ILY PHOTO

Nine-year-old Bobby Dean lay in a hos­pi­tal bed in Rochester, N.Y., af­ter suf­fer­ing de­hy­dra­tion, ab­dom­i­nal pain and a rac­ing heart. Doc­tors di­ag­nosed him with a syn­drome re­lated to the virus. He was able to go home af­ter six days in the hos­pi­tal.

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