Suffolk Teen Died of Coronavirus-Related Syndrome in April, Officials Say

Blood sample tube positive with COVID-19
Blood sample tube positive with COVID-19 or novel coronavirus 2019 found in Wuhan, China
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A Suffolk County teenager is one of at least three childen in New York State who died of an emerging pediatric inflamatory syndrome believed to be associated with exposure to coronavirus, officials said.

The state Department of Health officials is investigating 94 of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Potentially Associated with COVID-19 as of Monday. Two more child fatalities are also being probed.

“This was a fatality that was reported earlier last month,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said Monday. “This was a case where the state was looking back at some of the past cases.”

Clinical trials are now being assembled to study the syndrome and figure out how best to treat it. The disorder can attack multiple organs, impair heart function, and weaken heart arteries.

“With each passing day we’re learning more about this terrible virus, and this potentially new development requires even greater understanding,” said State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “We’ll devote the resources of the department to research each potential case and share our findings with healthcare providers around the state and country.”

The inflammatory syndrome has symptoms that overlap with Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome and may occur days to weeks after acute COVID-19 illness. 

Parents should seek immediate care if a child has: a prolonged fever for more than five days; difficulty feeding or is too sick to drink fluids; a racing heart or chest pain; severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting; skin becoming pale, patchy and/or blue; trouble breathing or rapid breathing, decreased amount of frequency in urine; and lethargy, irritability, or confusion.

“There’s still so much we don’t know about COVID-19, and in the beginning we were led to believe that the good news about this virus was it didn’t affect children,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Now we have a new issue that we’re looking at where some children affected with the COVID-19 virus are becoming ill with symptoms similar to the Kawasaki disease or toxic shock-like syndrome. This would be really painful news and would open up an entirely different chapter in our fight against this virus.”

Related Story: Rare Pediatric Syndrome Linked To COVID-19 Emerging on Long Island

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