North America

Three children in US die from mystery illness possibly linked to coronavirus infection

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says 73 kids have been diagnosed with symptoms of a mystery syndrome. (AAP)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says three children in the US state have died from a rare inflammatory syndrome.

Two young children and a teenager have died in New York state from a possible complication from the coronavirus involving swollen blood vessels and heart problems, governor Andrew Cuomo says.

At least 73 children in New York have been diagnosed with symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease - a rare inflammatory condition in children - and toxic shock syndrome. Most of them are toddlers and elementary-age children.

Mr Cuomo announced two more deaths a day after discussing the death of a five-year-old boy on Thursday at a New York City hospital. A seven-year old in Westchester County and a teenager in Suffolk County also died. There is no proof that the virus causes the mysterious syndrome.

A number of cases of the rare illness have been detected in children in New York, one of the world's worst-hit cities.
A number of cases of the rare illness have been detected in children in New York, one of the world's worst-hit cities.
New York Times

Mr Cuomo said the children had tested positive for COVID-19 or the antibodies but did not show the common symptoms of the virus when they were hospitalised.

"This is the last thing that we need at this time, with all that is going on, with all the anxiety we have, now for parents to have to worry about whether or not their youngster was infected," Mr Cuomo said at his daily briefing.


New York is helping develop a US-wide criteria for identifying and responding to the syndrome at the request of the Centers for Disease Control, Cuomo said.

Children elsewhere in the US have also been hospitalised with the condition, which was also seen in parts of Europe.

Doctors still believe that most children with COVID-19 develop only mild illness.

At least 3000 US children are diagnosed with Kawasaki disease each year. It is most common in children younger than six and in boys.

Symptoms include prolonged fever, severe abdominal pain and trouble breathing.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others.

Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store. SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments.

News and information is available in 63 languages at

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch