Seven pediatric patients across Suffolk are being treated for a newly detected illness state and county officials are warning is a type of COVID-19 affecting children and teens, County Executive Steve Bellone said Tuesday.
The patients are among 100 statewide that Governor Andrew Cuomo said are displaying symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock-like syndrome, but are testing positive for the coronavirus or related antibodies.
“We don’t completely understand it at this point,” Mr. Bellone said during his daily COVID-19 briefing with the media. “We don’t know all the details of this new syndrome … but we do know now that it’s affecting our kids.”
The governor said the illness is mostly impacting children between the ages of 5 and 14, but has been detected in several infants and even young adults as age as 22. Of three New York State residents who died from this newly detected phenomenon, one was an 18-year-old woman from Suffolk County.
Mr. Cuomo said the New York State Department of Health is now asking health care providers to prioritize testing in youths showing symptoms related to the virus.
Those symptoms, which are different from what is typically found in COVID-19 patients, include:
• A prolonged fever of more than five days.
• Difficulty in feeding infants.
• Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting.
• Change in skin color — becoming pale, patchy and/or blue.
• Trouble breathing or breathing quickly.
• Racing heart or chest pain.
• Decreased amount or frequency of urine.
• Lethargy, irritability or confusion.
The governor said that while New York is the first state to detect this in children, it likely won’t be the only one.
“If we have this issue in New York, it’s probably in other states,” he said.
Mr. Bellone said this recent development, which Gov. Cuomo first discussed Saturday, underscores the importance of social distancing for people of all ages — even as certain segments of the economy are expected to reopen statewide Friday.
“Remember we’ve known from the beginning that kids transmit the virus as well,” Mr. Bellone said.