NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is likely to issue a nationwide alert this week to help track the mystery illness impacting children across the United States.
Five children in Connecticut have been found to have the illness, and three children in New York have died from it so far.
There are 100 cases still being investigated in the state.
CBS2’s Ali Bauman spoke with a father in Queens whose son has been battling the condition.
Eight-year-old Jayden Hardowar first came down with a fever three weeks ago. His father, Roup, says Jayden had no other symptoms until a few days later when he went into cardiac arrest.
“He called ‘mommy,’ he turned to his side and he never respond anymore,” Hardowar said.
Jayden’s brother administered CPR, likely saving his life.
He was rushed to Cohen Children’s Medical Center, where he would spend the next two weeks sedated and isolated from his family.
“As long as they were getting a heartbeat and getting a pulse, I think that was enough to give me confidence he was gonna come back,” Hardowar said.
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Jayden tested negative for the coronavirus but tested positive for the antibody.
“It seems to be actually a post-infectious syndrome, where the immune system is hyperactive and leads to inflammation of the heart muscle or arteries of the body,” said Dr. James Schneider, of Cohen Children’s Medical Center.
There are now more than 150 children nationwide infected with the mystery illness possibly linked to COVID-19. Tuesday in New York City, there were 14 new cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, a nearly 40% jump in just 24 hours.
“Parents around the state and around the country are very concerned about this and they should be,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The governor has now ordered hospitals to prioritize COVID-19 testing for children displaying the symptoms, which are similar to Kawasaki disease.
- Whole body rash
- Bright red eyes
- Swollen lymph nodes, feet and hands
- Red, cracked lips
- Extreme headache
- Sometimes breathing difficulty
“Why do you think it is that now after more than two months of this pandemic we’re just starting to see this now?” Bauman asked Schneider.
“If children were infected within those first few weeks of the presence of the virus, they were asymptomatic. Their bodies developed this immune reaction, and now weeks later, we’re seeing the emergence of this illness,” Schneider said.
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Tuesday evening, Jayden was discharged from the hospital and is now recovering at home.
“The whole house was different without him, so we’re glad he’s home with us,” Hardowar said.
Not all children will display all the symptoms, but if they’re experiencing any, doctors advise bringing the child to a pediatrician right away.