The latest news out of New York may change everything that we think we know about the coronavirus.
A 5-year-old boy died Thursday in New York City after being diagnosed with a mysterious, severe illness that is thought to be connected to COVID-19, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed during his daily briefing on Friday.
Up until now, it has been thought that the coronavirus doesn’t really affect children, but now it appears that the opposite may be true.
What we know
According to Cuomo, the child died from coronavirus-related complications that are similar to what is called the Kawasaki disease or toxic shock-like syndrome, NBC affiliate KOAA5 reported.
“While rare, we’re seeing some cases where children affected with the COVID virus can become ill with symptoms similar to the Kawasaki disease or toxic shock-like syndrome that literally causes inflammation in their blood vessels,” Cuomo explained. “This is every parent’s nightmare, right? That your child may actually be affected by this virus. But it’s something that we have to consider seriously now.”
Cuomo said that there have been 73 cases like this so far in New York. The five-year-old’s death was reportedly the first one tied to the illness — but by Saturday, Cuomo said that two more children had died.
A “different chapter”
If true, if this illness really is a result of COVID-19, then we would have to shift from the belief that the coronavirus doesn’t affect children to the belief that it does affect children, and perhaps in a quite serious way.
“This would be really painful news and would open up an entirely different chapter because I can’t tell you how many people I spoke to who took peace and solace in the fact that children were not getting infected,” Cuomo said.
“We thought that children might be vehicles of transmission,” he added. “But, we didn’t think children would suffer from it.”
As Cuomo suggested, scientists are still not 100 percent certain as to what is going on here. An investigation into the matter is currently ongoing.
Some of the symptoms to watch out for in children include a fever of five or more days, trouble breathing, chest pain, a racing heart, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and confusion.
If such symptoms are present, parents are urged to get their children medical attention.