Children at Connecticut Hospitals Being Treated for Rare COVID-Related Illness

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Three children at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital are being treated for a new pediatric multi-system inflammatory disease linked to COVID-19, the hospital system and Governor Ned Lamont confirmed Monday.

Connecticut Children's Medical Center also has three cases under investigation that are suspected to be the same condition.

At least five children in New York have died from the illness and as many as 93 more have contracted the disease.

The children at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital are being closely monitored, Lamont said.

“Unfortunately, this disease carries features of toxic shock syndrome and elements of Kawasaki Disease and strikes school-aged children. While these cases are exceptionally rare, given our proximity to New York where there have been a significant number reported, we have been watching their experience closely,” said Clifford Bogue, physician-in-chief of Yale New Haven Children's Hospital. “We are working diligently with local and state health officials to address this issue and strongly recommend that children who may be suffering from symptoms seek early referrals to pediatric infectious disease specialists, rheumatologists or cardiologists.”

The new condition only came to light about a week ago and has affected children from newborns through teenagers across the country.

The cases have been reported to the state Department of Public Health, which has been in contact with the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention to set up surveillance of any new cases that appear in Connecticut, according to Connecticut chief operating officer Josh Geballe.

Connecticut Children's Medical Center said their cases are still under investigation, but they seem similar to what's been reported in New York City and abroad.

“We have three cases under investigation. We have to be careful in terms of when do we confirm a case. There are still some elements of the diagnosis that need to be confirmed. But they have been presented over the last two and a half weeks with a very similar syndrome which was initially described in New York City and also in England and Italy where kids do show up with this very complex disease," said Dr. Juan Salazar, Connecticut Children's physician-in-chief.

Symptoms of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome can include a persistent fever, rash, and gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea.

Children can also suffer from cardiac inflammation, according to Yale New Haven Health.

Salazar stressed that while the new syndrome is concerning, the children his hospital is treating are reacting well to treatment.

“We do have an adequate therapy. Of course when they do get very sick they do need the intensive care unit. But I want to emphasize these are rare cases. So most parents I wouldn’t be worried about this. Most kids, even those who had COVID or were infected or potentially affected, are not going to get this syndrome. So I don’t want people panicking," Salazar said.

Coronavirus Hospitalizations

Hospitalization numbers fell again on Monday, continuing a downward trend over the past two weeks.

Connecticut saw a net drop of 30 COVID-19 hospitalizations since Sunday.

There were 211 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 33,765. There were 41 new deaths, Gov. Ned Lamont said during a briefing on Monday afternoon. The death toll in Connecticut now stands at 3,008.

Gov. Lamont said the state is now seeing fewer than 10-percent of people being tested for coronavirus actually testing positive. He cited that as a positive step.

Lamont also said that the current numbers keep the state on track for the May 20 Phase 1 opening date.

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