Cases of Kawasaki disease have affected children 5 and under. The disease has caused inflammation of the heart and blood vessels. Typical symptoms included fever, rash, swelling of the hands and feet, irritation and redness in the whites of the eyes, swollen lymph glands in the neck and irritation and inflammation of the mouth, lips and throat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC].
Still, there’s been no official criteria for diagnosing the deadly disease and health officials have been scrambling to identify children who may be affected by it.
“Of the cases that have been verified, 47 percent of the kids involved tested positive for the coronavirus at that point; of those who tested negative, 81 percent had the antibodies,” de Blasio said. “Suffice it to say that, for the past 10 weeks, all day, every day, we’ve all been talking about the coronavirus nonstop and looking at so many different elements around it, and this particular challenge around kids came up literally days ago.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has been investigating the disease, which has infected an estimated 85 people in the state and killed three children overall.
De Blasio added that testing for the coronavirus could be helpful in identifying children with Kawasaki disease.
“I think, probably, the most important thing that the federal government can do in this situation is, really help us maximize the number of people who are getting tested,” City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot reportedly said. “This response has been hampered by universal lack of access to testing. I think that is one additional way in which that is being manifested.”
De Blasio, a Democrat, also has lamented the limited number of available doses of remdesivir, a trial drug to fight COVID-19. The federal government has procured some 500,000 doses of the drug to dole out to states, and New York City has received about 4,000 doses of remdesivir.
The mayor said he’s pleaded with the Trump administration to get more.
“We need that number greatly intensified. In fact, we need about 10 times that much just to get started,” de Blasio said.