Three NY Children Die From Coronavirus-Linked Syndrome: Cuomo

Kathleen Culliton

NEW YORK CITY — Three New York children have died from a toxic shock-like syndrome health experts fear is linked to new coronavirus, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo Saturday.

"We were laboring under the impression that young people were not affected by COVID-19," Cuomo said during his daily press briefing. "We're not so sure that's the fact anymore."

A New York City 5-year-old boy and two others have succumbed to the disease that has infected at least 73 kids since COVID-19 first hit the state, Cuomo said.

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Sick children show symptoms not traditionally linked with COVID-19, which is why the New York Health Department only launched an investigation into the mysterious syndrome last week, said the governor.

"It is very possible this has been going on for several weeks," Cuomo said.

Symptoms of the disease — similar to toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease — include prolonged fever, abdominal pain, skin color change and decreased amount or frequency in urine, according to New York Health officials.

New York faces continuous difficulty tracking deaths from COVID-19 because spread so quickly outpaced testing capacity and because other ailments can augment the virus's symptoms, lawmakers have said.

Many have died without a confirmed diagnosis, forcing the New York City Health Department to break down its fatality count by "confirmed" and "probable" COVID-19 deaths.

New York City had seen 14,389 confirmed deaths and 5,313 probable deaths as of Friday, data show.

Of those New York City dwellers lost, seven were under the age of 17, according to the Health Department.

During his daily press briefing, Cuomo also announced a new initiative to open 22 Northwell Health COVID-19 testing sites in New York City churches, as part of an effort to combat rising rates among low income New Yorkers.

Finally, the governor released data of COVID-19 infection rates among New York City's essential workers, all of whom showed lower numbers than the citywide rate of 19.9 percent.

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This article originally appeared on the New York City Patch