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NYC boy dies of syndrome possibly linked to COVID-19

New York, May 9 (IANS) A five-year-old boy in New York City has died from a rare syndrome potentially associated with COVID-19, raising new concerns about the pandemic's full impact on children.

On Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told the media that the boy died on Thursday, and there have been 73 reported cases of children with the syndrome in the state, reports Xinhua news agency.

The multi-system inflammatory syndrome has features that overlap with Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome, including persistent fever, abdominal symptoms, rash and cardiovascular changes, according to an advisory issued by the state's health department on Wednesday.

The department asked health providers to immediately report those cases in patients who are under 21 years old, and perform a diagnostic and serological test to detect the presence of novel coronavirus or corresponding antibodies in the patients.

Health experts in New York were still trying to figure out whether the syndrome was linked to COVID-19, as not all 73 children tested positive for coronavirus or its antibodies.

In Westchester County in the suburbs of Manhattan, officials said on Friday that a seven-year-old boy died last week under similar circumstances, but it was still too early to determine whether his death was a result of COVID-19 complications or underlying diseases.

Similar cases have been recently reported in Britain and other European countries.

If the syndrome becomes prevalent, it would alter the assumption that children are largely not affected by the pandemic.

“This is every parent's nightmare, right, that your child may actually be affected by this virus,” said Cuomo.

On Tuesday, New York City officials said that 15 children in the city had been hospitalized with this rare syndrome.

Four of them tested positive for coronavirus and six others had antibodies.

–IANS

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