There are now 145 New York City kids sickened with the rare Kawasaki-like inflammatory disease, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday as he noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the illness is linked to the coronavirus.
“It is a very sober and painful topic,” de Blasio said of the mystery disease during his daily COVID-19 press briefing.
The illness, which the city has been calling pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, or PMIS, is now being referred to by the CDC as multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, and the city will also refer to it that way going forward, de Blasio said.
The mayor noted that the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is reviewing cases reported in the Big Apple under the CDC’s new definition of the disease, which the CDC recently said is, in fact, related to COVID-19.
As of Monday, the city has logged 145 cases using the initial PMIS case definition and of those patients, 67 tested positive for coronavirus or antibodies for the virus, de Blasio said.
Common symptoms of MIS-C include persistent fever, irritability or sluggishness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting, rash, red or pink eyes, enlarged lymph node gland on one side of the neck, red cracked lips or red tongue, and swollen hands and feet.
“That’s a lot to be aware of,” de Blasio said, adding, “Any of those symptoms you see in your child, call your health care provider.”
“If you see multiple symptoms, especially important,” said the mayor, who noted that precautions for children include good hygiene, wearing face coverings in public and social distancing.
De Blasio also said the Big Apple still has more work to do in its battle against the coronavirus as the latest statistics for the city’s daily COVID-19 indicators show “a mixed bag.”
“We keep making progress, overall,” Hizzoner said. “We all got to stick with it.”
The number of people admitted to Big Apple hospitals went down from 77 on Friday to 58 on Saturday, while patients in intensive care units for suspected COVID-19 across the city’s public hospital system went up from 469 Friday to 475 Saturday, according to the statistics, which have a two-day reporting lag.
“It’s not a huge increase, but it’s still an increase, we need it to keep going down,” de Blasio said of the ICU numbers.
The percentage of people tested citywide who are positive for coronavirus remained unchanged between the two days at 11 percent.
“Overall good news because of the overall direction,” de Blasio said. “We need to create that steady progress to get to the next stage.”
Still, de Blasio predicted that the city will meet the state’s seven COVID-related benchmarks by mid-June, which means that the Big Apple could start its phased reopening by then.
“On the city indicators and state indicators, both will align in the first half of June,” de Blasio said.
As of Monday, New York City has only met three of the seven criteria needed to enter phase one of reopening.
“We clearly are making progress. There’s several [benchmarks] we’ve met,” he said. “We need to go further.”
Also by June, de Blasio said, the city will be producing more than 60,000 coronavirus test kits per week.
“A dream team has come together from all over New York City to make things happen in the case of test kits,” the mayor, noting, “This is the essence of what we need.”
Print Parts, a company in Manhattan, makes the swabs, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx produces the viral transport medium, and Collab in Brooklyn “helped provide the design to put together the kits in the right way,” de Blasio said.
“For the first time in our history, New York City is building and using its own test kits,” said the mayor.
Those homegrown test kits were being used as of Monday at NYC Health + Hospitals sites across the city.