Children are falling ill with a baffling ailment related to COVID-19

In the past 2 days alone, Cohen Children's Medical Center in Long Island, NY, has admitted five critically ill patients—aged 4 years to 12 years—with an unusual sickness that appears to be linked to COVID-19.

In the past 2 days alone, Cohen Children's Medical Center in Long Island, NY, has admitted five critically ill patients—aged 4 years to 12 years—with an unusual sickness that appears to be linked to COVID-19. In total, about 25 similarly ill children have been admitted there in recent weeks with symptoms ranging from reddened tongues to enlarged coronary arteries. The mysterious new syndrome has cropped up in recent weeks among children in hot spots around the country, in an indication that the risk to children may be greater than anticipated. No solid data yet exists about how many children in the United States have fallen ill with what doctors are calling "pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome." Health officials say this condition does not seem to be driven by the virus attacking the lungs, as is the case with coronavirus infection in adults. Many of the patients' symptoms—from rashes to redness of eyes to blood circulation problems—appear to be rooted in an overall inflammatory response. In some patients the syndrome seems similar to a rare childhood illness called Kawasaki disease, which can lead to inflammation of the blood vessels, especially the coronary arteries. The symptoms of Kawasaki disease often start with a fever and a rash, but when undiagnosed and untreated, the illness can lead to serious heart conditions, such as coronary aneurysms.