If there weren’t already enough evidence that the coronavirus is disproportionately affecting African Americans and people of color, there is the continuing mystery of children who are suffering from a COVID-19 like illness.
According to N.Y. Daily News, the cases are being reported out of New York City and grew from just 15 a few weeks ago to more than one hundred this week. The cases are said to be similar to Kawasaki disease, a rare illness usually found in children 5 and under that causes inflammation in blood vessels.
The New York City Health Department, which issued another bulletin about the illness this week, reports 110 cases of the illness – a significant increase since just earlier in the week.
Out of those 110 cases, known officially as a pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, Black children made up 24%, 14% were Hispanic, 10% Asian and 9% were white, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told the press in a media briefing on Friday. The race of 38% of the children was unknown.
“I’m very much concerned that this looks like it’s tracking the same disparities we’ve seen throughout this crisis and that is something we have to address very, very aggressively with everything we’ve got,” de Blasio said during a press briefing.
A 5-year-old boy, a 7-year-old boy, and an 18-year-old girl have died from the illness according to NBC New York. Most of the cases have been found in children under 4-years-old, but there were multiple cases in children from four 18 and even in young adults up to 21-years-old.
So far, males are more susceptible than girls, with 57% of the reported cases in male children and young adults.
Nationwide, more cases are being reported – in at least 16 other states. The Centers for Disease Control has put out an alert, asking parents and physicians to be mindful of symptoms in their children as possible indicators.
NYS is investigating 102 cases of a potentially COVID-related inflammatory illness in children.
Tragically, 3 young NYers lost their lives to this illness.
Though rare, we have cases in children of all ages.
14 other states and 5 European countries have also reported cases.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 13, 2020
Though the exact link to COVID-19 in unclear, half of the New York kids presenting with the syndrome tested positive for the coronavirus or the antibodies to it. The cases in New York City so far are mostly in the Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens, according to multiple sources.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!