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De Blasio Says There's 'Tremendous Concern' About Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome; At Least 38 Cases Confirmed In NYC

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday there's "tremendous concern" about pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, which scientists suspect may be related to COVID-19.

Of the 85 cases statewide, 38 are in New York City.

There has been three deaths statewide related to the syndrome, including one in New York City.


Symptoms of the syndrome include persistent fever, rash, abdominal pain and vomiting.

"What it does is, basically, in a child's body triggers an intensive, almost overwhelming immune system response. And that actually causes harm to the body," de Blasio said.

Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy told CBS2's Christina Fan, "I think this is a red flag, a new important red flag to parents to treat children just as seriously as they're treating elderly or each other."

Among the New York City cases, 47% had tested positive for COVID-19 and of those who tested negative, 81% had antibodies, the mayor said.

"It could either be that the test was false negative, possible. But the other explanation is that in the cascade of their immune response they have not produced this kind of antibody yet in their system," Dr. El-Mohandes said.

The mayor said that all children presenting symptoms will be tested at all hospitals and the city will send a health alert to all public school parents.

"Every parent out there, if you see these symptoms, take them seriously," de Blasio said. "If you see these symptoms, report them to your doctor immediately."

WATCH: Mayor Bill de Blasio Gives Coronavirus Update

The mayor said one impact of shutting the subways down from 1 a.m.-5 a.m. to allow for cleaning and disinfecting is a dramatic increase in the number of homeless people accepting city offers of help and services.

"We keep seeing something very special happening," de Blasio said.

De Blasio said of roughly 800 homeless people recently approached when the subways have shut down, 410 had accepted services from the city.

Several New York City hospitals are participating in an Food and Drug Administration trial of Remdesivir to treat some coronavirus patients, de Blasio said, adding so far New York City has received 4,000 doses, but needs 10 times that number, so he has appealed to the White House for more.

De Blasio said 260 New York City municipal employees have succumbed to the disease so far, leaving in many cases families that are now at risk of losing their health care. Consequently, he has extended coverage by 45 days while the federal government works on a possible stimulus bill to help city and state governments.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As far as the daily indicators go:

  • New admissions to hospitals are flat
  • People in ICUs are down to 540 from 559
  • Percentage of people tested who are positive are up to 17% from 12%
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