NY hospitals prioritizing COVID-19 testing for kids with certain symptoms

May 12, 2020

Hospitals across the state are prioritizing COVID-19 testing for children displaying inflammatory symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic-shock syndrome.

The New York State Health Department advises parents and guardians to seek immediate care if a child has trouble breathing, severe abdominal pain, a change in skin color, rash, fever, or racing heart. These symptoms may occur up to weeks after an acute COVID-19 illness. 

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The health department says that early recognition from pediatricians and referrals to specialists and critical care is “essential.” Currently, the state says there are around 100 children with these symptoms.

Three have died after presenting the symptoms, including a five-year-old, a seven-year-old, and a teenager. 

The health department is also conducting a study with the New York Genome Center and Rockefeller University to determine the possible genetic basis of this syndrome.

New York is alerting other states about the illness, and helping develop national criteria for identification and response, at the CDC’s request.