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Children die of inflammatory illness that may be linked to COVID-19

Children die of inflammatory illness that may be linked to COVID-19

Posted May. 11, 2020 07:29,   

Updated May. 11, 2020 07:29


Two children and a teenager died of an inflammatory illness that could be connected to COVID-19 in New York. Similar symptoms have been observed in children in Europe, raising concerns over reopening schools.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reported in a press conference on Saturday that the novel coronavirus killed a five-year-old, a seven-year-old and a teenager. Despite testing positive for COVID-19, none of them showed respiratory symptoms. Instead, they had symptoms similar to toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease such as fever and rashes. Cuomo asked parents to pay close attention to their children if they display symptoms such as prolonged fever, severe abdominal pain, change in skin color and chest pain.

Currently, New York State has 73 children with such symptoms. Governor Cuomo said they all tested positive for COVID-19 or antibodies. "We were laboring under the impression young people were not affected by Covid-19,” said the governor. “We're not so sure that that is the fact anymore.” The State of New York and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are studying the link between the inflammatory illness and the coronavirus.

Similar cases have been also reported in several European countries. The Guardian said a 14-year-old boy in the United Kingdom died of multiple inflammatory symptoms after being diagnosed with COVID-19 while dozens of children had been treated. Although France, Italy and Spain also had children with severe abdominal pain and heart inflammation, its connection to the novel coronavirus has not been confirmed.

The deaths of children are causing concerns as COVID-19 have been believed to cause only mild symptoms in children. The Financial Times said the news poses challenges to schools across the world as they are seeking to reopen.

Ji-Sun Choi aurinko@donga.com