These Are the States Reporting Cases of Coronavirus-Linked Child Inflammatory Syndrome

Health care professionals in at least 15 states have reported several cases of children diagnosed with the new coronavirus are also being afflicted with an inflammatory syndrome that doctors are referring to as pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome.

Doctors in New York have diagnosed more than 100 children between the ages 3 and 18 with the inflammatory disease that has been associated with toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease.

Health care professionals have also reported cases in Washington D.C., California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington.

Kids with. COVID-19
A medical worker takes a blood sample from a girl during a rapid test for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Surabaya on May 13, 2020. Doctors in 15 states have reported cases of children showing rare cases of an inflammatory syndrome also being diagnosed with the new coronavirus. UNI KRISWANTO/Getty

"New York is in many ways the tip of the arrow here," Cuomo said in a CBS News report. "(We are) looking at 102 cases where children who may have been infected with the COVID virus show symptoms of an inflammatory disease like Kawasaki disease, or toxic shock-like syndrome."

So far, doctors believe pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children diagnosed with COVID-19 is a rare occurrence. Doctors at Boston Children's Hospital said pediatric patients showed symptoms of persistent high fever and severe abdominal pain accompanied by swelling or inflammation of some organs that may ultimately lead to organ failure.

Dr. Mary Beth Son, program director of the rheumatology program and assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, took part in a panel discussion with physicians at Boston Children's Hospital on May 2.

Son said physicians believed the inflammatory syndrome showed similar features of Kawasaki disease, a rare inflammatory disease that has been seen more prominently in patients of Asian descent but is known to cross racial and ethnic barriers.

"In some geographic areas, there has been an uptick in Kawasaki disease cases in children who don't have shock," Son said.

Health care professionals in New York said about 79 percent of the pediatric patients treated for the new coronavirus and pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome had to be treated in intensive care units.

New York City's health department sent out alerts on Monday to doctors in all 50 states of the link between pediatric COVID-19 patients and pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on May 5 that a plan is in the works to test all children with symptoms of the inflammatory disease for the new coronavirus.

"To every parent out there: Early detection is the key to fighting this," de Blasio said in a USA Today report. "It can be treated. If you see these symptoms, take them seriously and act immediately."

However, doctors stressed that while there has been a link between some pediatric patients with pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome being diagnosed with COVID-19, many others are negative for the new coronavirus.

"If you look at the curves, COVID-19 has plateaued, but there's an exponential rise in this secondary type of shock syndrome," says cardiologist Jane Newburger, MD, MPH, an international expert on Kawasaki disease who was also on the May 2 panel. "It is even possible that the antibodies that children are making to SARS-CoV2 are creating an immune reaction in the body. Nobody knows."