Rare disease linked to coronavirus hitting young, minority boys hardest in NYC
A total of 110 children in the Big Apple have contracted the rare Kawasaki-like inflammatory disease potentially linked to the coronavirus — and the disease is hitting young, minority boys the hardest.
Among those infected with the mystery disease, formally known as pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, or PMIS, in the city, 54 percent have tested positive for the coronavirus or antibodies, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his City Hall press briefing Friday.
“We lost one child,” Hizzoner said. “I want us all to work together and partners to do everything [we] possibly can to make sure we don’t lose another child in this crisis.”
Nearly 60 percent of the pediatric victims are boys, said de Blasio.
Thirty-five percent range in age from newborns to 4-year-olds, the mayor said. A quarter of the children are between 5 and 9, 24 percent are between 10 and 14 and 16 percent range from 15 to 21 years old, the mayor said.
“We want people to be particularly vigilant with our youngest kids,” de Blasio said.
Thirty-eight percent of those infected are of an unknown race, 24 percent are black, 14 percent are Hispanic, 10 percent are Asian, 9 percent are white and 5 percent fall into another category, according to the mayor — who called those statistics “sobering.”
“This looks like it’s tracking the same disparities we’ve seen throughout this crisis,” de Blasio said. “That’s something we have to attack very, very aggressively with all we’ve got.”
A total of 153 children have tested positive for the syndrome statewide, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at his briefing a short while later.
Symptoms of the illness can include persistent fever, skin rash, abdominal pain, bloodshot eyes, vomiting and diarrhea.
Other symptoms, according to the state, include change in skin color (becoming pale, patchy or blue), trouble breathing or breathing very quickly, racing heart or chest pain, lethargy, irritability or confusion, difficulty feeding (infants) or being too sick to drink fluids.
Meanwhile, the city is making “tremendous progress” in the longterm battle against the coronavirus, according to the mayor.
Daily hospital admissions have been “consistently below 100 for a meaningful amount of time,” de Blasio said.
“The less good news is today’s update,” he acknowledged.
The number of people admitted to Big Apple hospitals spiked to 78 on Wednesday from 59 on Tuesday, according to the latest statistics, which have a two-day lag.
The percentage of people tested citywide who are positive for COVID-19 rose from 11 percent Tuesday to 13 percent Wednesday.
Statistics on ICU admissions for the virus showed some hope — declining to 506 Wednesday from 517 on Tuesday. Those figures show “progress unquestionably,” according to the mayor — because the numbers are down by more than 300 from the city’s peak last month.
“Not the day we wanted today, [but] we’ve had some very, very good days lately,” Hizzoner said.
But the overall trend, according to the mayor, is “absolutely right.”
“To get to that restart, we need to go further,” he said.
Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan
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