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New York City on 'high alert' after 100 cases of COVID-19 linked to inflammatory disease in children

New York City is on "high alert" after reporting 100 cases of a rare inflammatory disease apparently tied to COVID-19 in children.

New York recently began reporting rising cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, an illness that officials say is similar to toxic shock or Kawasaki disease, with symptoms including a fever and abdominal pain and which "appears to be linked to an immune response to COVID-19," The New York Times reports.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a press briefing on Thursday said "we are now on high alert in addressing" the syndrome after the number of confirmed cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome in the city has reached 100. Among those cases, 55 children have tested positive for COVID-19 or the antibodies, de Blasio said, and one child has died. Two other children have also died from the illness in New York State, according to the Times. De Blasio had reported 82 cases of the syndrome in the city on Wednesday.

These developments continue to be "really troubling" after it was previously thought that "children seemed to have very little effect from this disease," de Blasio said. He urged parents to "call your doctor immediately" if a child has a persistent fever, a rash, abdominal pain, vomiting, and "especially" a combination of these symptoms.