Deadly mystery illness that could be linked to COVID-19 killed New York children, similar cases reported in other countries

At least two children and a teen in New York died from mystery illness

A mystery illness has killed two children and a teen in New York

DETROIT – As more states loosen restrictions to move toward a new normal, New York and federal officials are looking at a troubling trend.

At least two children and a teenager in New York have died of a mystery illness that may be linked to COVID-19 -- a threat that had previously not been recognized.

Doctor Anthony Fauci said he will telework and wear a mask in a “modified quarantine” for 14 days-- after what’s described as a “low-risk” contact with a White House staffer who tested positive for the coronavirus.

CDC director Robert Redfield and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn -- also of the White House coronavirus task force -- have also started to self-quarantine.

Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state is working with the CDC to respond to an illness affecting dozens of the youngest New Yorkers -- that may be linked to COVID-19.

“These children happen to have the COVID antibodies or be positive for COVID, but those were not the symptoms they showed when they came in to the hospital system,” said Cuomo.

The governor’s office said Saturday a 5-year old, a 7-year-old and a teenager have died.

Similar cases of the syndrome in children have been reported in Seattle, northern California, United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.

“It’s more an inflammation of the blood vessels, which can then cause problems with their heart,” Cuomo added.

Experts say it is too soon to tell what it really means.

“What we really think is that there’s a large number of children infected and that this is a rare complication. But it is a complication that, of course, if I was a parent, I’d be concerned about,” said Dr. Glenn Budnick.

Global coronavirus cases passed 4 million on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.