Race to investigate a mysterious virus syndrome after the deaths of three children in New York

A young child and her parent wear masks as they walk along the Alphabet City neighborhood of New York, New York, USA. EPA-EFE/JASON SZENES

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Blood will be collected from dozens of children in New York to determine whether they share any genetic variations that might make them susceptible to a mysterious syndrome linked to the coronavirus.

Tissue samples from at least one of the three patients to have died from it — ages 5, 7, and 18 — have been sent to a public health laboratory for intensive testing.

A team of more than 30 disease detectives — epidemiologists, clinicians, and statisticians — is poring over thousands of pages of medical records.

Even as doctors and scientists around the world race to develop treatments and vaccines for Covid-19, New York State has become the center of a parallel effort to investigate an unnerving aspect of the outbreak: an illness that is sickening a small but growing number of children.

The ailment has now been reported in at least 161 children in New York, making the state’s caseload one of the largest publicly reported anywhere. Hundreds of other children across the United States and in Europe have also been sickened with the illness, now called multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

The syndrome can be characterized by severe inflammation of the heart, blood vessels, the gastrointestinal tract or other organs, believed to be caused by a reaction to the coronavirus. The inquiries into why it is occurring, and whether a treatment can be found, could have an impact on how the authorities handle the reopening of schools and other activities for children.

Read more via The New York Times

%d bloggers like this: