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New York Gets an Update on Kawasaki Disease from Governor Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo during today’s Press Tele-Conference:

“I was asked the other day about Kawasaki disease and what we’re seeing on that. The number of cases in New York has gone up slightly, we’re at about 240 cases now. That was about 15 or so more in the past month. But, New York is not a good gauge for this because the number of cases is coming down across the board, right? We are seeing the numbers increase in other states where the cases are increasing, and what we’re seeing is the more you look for it, the more you find it. If you’re not aware of it, you don’t see it. But, the findings of our State Department of Health here in New York have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and we’re proud of that. So, we’re getting the word out to the other health departments that they should look for this. And as they’re looking for it, they’re finding more across the country. But we have not seen it increasing significantly in New York, but then again we haven’t seen the cases increasing significantly in New York.”

The following is a response given by NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot at the onset of the illness discovery amongst children during the COVID-19 Crisis.

On May 5, 2020:

“…we issued a health alert that goes to thousands and thousands of doctors across the city. And so my and expectation is that as a result of us issuing [inaudible] as a result of the coverage that this is getting, we will get more cases identified, a Kawasaki’s Illness, as well as Kawasaki-like syndromes in children that are more aggressively infected. And so we will continue to monitor that situation. You know, with regards to the ongoing transmission of COVID-19 and children, I think from the beginning we have said that children are not an exception to this, that they like adults can be infected, they can transmit the illness, but that the learning that has gone on has been that they are not severely affected.”

“I think one of the new things that we are also learning and I think time will tell how much this will sort of change the clinical course and the public health course is that the strain of the virus that we’re actually seeing here in New York is behaving slightly different than the strain that was observed in China. And so hence we’re seeing children with Kawasaki’s – Kawasaki-likes syndromes. And so the answer is that the preventive measures that have been put in place with regards to closing the schools, social isolation, physical distancing, the face coverings, that the vigilance of around hand hygiene, all of those things are the layered approach that are going to help us when the time comes for safely opening our schools. And I think that we’ve got a significant amount of time to continue doing that learning, learning from the scientific community and you know, as we’ve demonstrated to date: as the science becomes available, our guidance needs to adapt to that to ensure that we continue to keep New Yorkers safe.”


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