The rare Kawasaki-like inflammatory disease potentially linked to coronavirus has now sickened at least 52 kids in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
“We’re seeing something that’s very troubling,” de Blasio said during his daily press briefing, as he called the new cases of the illness “sobering” and “frightening.”
The mystery disease, formally known as pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, has been detected in at least 52 Big Apple children with 10 additional cases pending, the mayor said during his daily coronavirus press briefing.
Of those 62 children, 25 of them tested positive for COVID-19, while 22 others had coronavirus antibodies, de Blasio said.
“We’re talking about characteristics that we’ve seen before, but we’re seeing it through the prism of this pandemic and that’s what’s concerning,” de Blasio said.
The disease has already killed a 5-year-old boy in the Big Apple and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said there are two more possible deaths from the illness.
“Early detection, early action,” de Blasio, “makes all the difference here.”
Symptoms of the illness can include: persistent fever, rash, abdominal pain, vomiting, swollen hands and feet, and a red-colored tongue.
City officials warn that if a child is experiencing any of these symptoms, especially a combination of them, to call a doctor immediately.
“I want parents to feel with great intensity to look out for these symptoms and talk to a health care provider immediately,” said the mayor.
The “most important way to prevent” the illness is by wearing face coverings and adhering to social distancing rules, as well as stay-at-home orders, according to city Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot, who was on the conference call with de Blasio.
Meanwhile, the city’s latest coronavirus daily indicators show that the Big Apple, which has lost more than 20,000 people to the virus, took a small step backward in its battle against the deadly bug.
“We had a really good yesterday,” de Blasio said. “Today we do not have as good a day.”
The latest statistics are a “little too much of a mixed bag,” he said.
Patients in ICUs for suspected coronavirus across the city’s 11 public hospitals increased from 537 on Saturday to 550 on Sunday, while the number of people admitted to Big Apple hospitals went down from 55 on Saturday to 51 on Sunday, according to the data that has a two-day reporting lag.
The percentage of people tested citywide who are positive for COVID-19 also ticked up from 13 percent on Saturday to 14 percent on Sunday.
“Where things went up it was by a very little amount and that’s something to note,” de Blasio said, adding that the “overall trend line [is] very good,” but the “daily result not yet what we’re looking for.”
Still, Hizzoner continued to remain optimistic that June is when the Big Apple could start to reopen as long as the daily indicators trend downward.
“Clearly these indicators are not getting us the kind of answers we need to change our restrictions in May,” de Blasio said, noting, “We’re going to remain in the state we’re in during the month of May.”
However, “in the beginning of June, that will be the first chance we get to do something different, but only if the indicators show us at that point we can make very fine-tuned moves.”
The reopening of the Big Apple will be done “piece by piece” with “very measured moves,” the mayor said.
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