New York state is investigating 157 cases of what may be a COVID-related illness in children, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
Twenty-five states, plus Washington, D.C., as well as 13 countries, are now reporting cases of the dangerous illness, said Cuomo.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now named the illness multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).
Common symptoms include persistent fever, irritability or sluggishness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, conjunctivitis, enlarged lymph node on one side of the neck, red cracked lips or red tongue, swollen hands and feet.
Cuomo on Thursday called MIS-C “more frightening than COVID respiratory illness in some ways because it inflames the heart.”
Cuomo urged parents not to send their children to day camps until it’s known “how widespread this is.”
Summer school will not have in-class teaching, Cuomo said, adding that it’s still too early to make a decision for the fall.
Over 21,000 people died in the New York metro area by March 3, according to The New York Times. But new estimates from Columbia University researchers found that fewer than 4,300 would have died by that time if quarantine response measures were launched one week earlier, on March 8, The Times reported.
When asked about this Columbia research, and if the state could have and should have acted earlier, Cuomo said at his Thursday briefing, “If this country knew more and knew it earlier, I think we could have saved many, many more lives.”
He went on, “Who knew the virus was already here January, February, March? Now who should have known? It’s above my pay grade as governor of one state. But what federal agency, what international health organization? I don’t know. It’s not what I do. It’s not my responsibility. But somebody has to answer that question.”
Meanwhile, New York state beaches will open Friday in time for Memorial Day weekend.
But Cuomo cautioned that beaches will be limited to 50% capacity, beachgoers can’t participate in group contact activities and concessions won’t be open. Social distancing will be forced and masks must be worn when social distancing is not possible, he said.