ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York state is investigating 242 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, also known as MIS-C. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave an update on the rare complication possibly linked to COVID-19 in a conference call Monday morning.
“The more you look for it, the more you find it,” Cuomo said. The state has seen 15 more cases in the last month.
“New York is not a good gauge for this because the number of cases is coming down across the board…We are seeing the numbers increase in other states where the cases are increasing,” Cuomo said.
Governor Cuomo and others liken the mysterious illness to Kawasaki Disease, but local pediatric infectious diseases expert Dr. Mark Hicar said many who study Kawasaki agree the two have little in common, if any.
“There could still be some kind of immune— a subset of immune cells that are reactive in both that might explain some of the overlap, but they really look like very different phenomenon,” Dr. Hicar said.
One issue, Dr. Hicar said is the broad definition of MIS-C. He believes the data includes more cases than are actually true cases.
“You make a broad definition to make sure you capture all these kids. By making it so broad we’re probably seeing a number of different disorders,” Dr. Hicar said.
Cuomo spoke Monday on a recent New England Journal of Medicine study completed with New York State MIS-C data. The study Dr. Hicar felt did not add many more details to the overall picture, but he was hopeful several other studies already in the works will yield more answers.
“There will be more of these cases, but they still are a seemingly a rare phenomenon,” Dr. Hicar said.
He said children are not immune to getting COVID, but this complication is rare. The infectious diseases expert said the best thing to keep kids safe is wearing a mask and social distancing.