FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - A second Kentucky youth has been hospitalized due to an inflammatory illness related to the coronavirus that overstresses their immune system.
During Gov. Andy Beshear’s daily press briefing on Tuesday, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said, “We are now aware of two patients in Kentucky. One is the 10-year-old reported Monday who is critically ill in the intensive care unit, with what is now being described as a pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome. The 10-year-old is showing signs of improvement and has had some of the medications reduced, which is a good sign meaning their body is showing signs of recovery.”
As for the new case announced Tuesday, Stack said, “The second patient is a 16-year-old who is doing well and is in a regular medical bed. The patient was admitted to the hospital out of an abundance of caution so they could be monitored closely, and should there be any signs of progression or deterioration, be in a place where they could have care implemented promptly.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that his state is now investigating about 100 cases of the inflammatory illness, in which the ages of the victims range from infancy to 21 years old.”
Stack said reports indicate this is similar to Kawasaki Syndrome, which is rather rare, with less than 20,000 cases per year in the U.S.
“It’s an inflammatory process that can involve multiple organs. The children who get sick with this can have cardiovascular collapse and supportive measures to maintain their blood pressure, respiratory collapse requiring breathing support with a mechanical ventilator, along with other problems, so it’s a very serious condition.”
Some of the symptoms include a rash, fever that remains for several days, weakness, fatigue, muscle aches, a runny nose or watery eyes.
He noted there have not been any deaths due to this illness yet, but in some cases have come very close.
For the first time, Stack gave some information about what will happen to the coronavirus this summer.
“Early reports suggest that warm weather may not help us with it. Whether you’re in a hot place or a colder place, may not help us. We were hoping we were going to have some diminishment of the disease in the summer months like influenza, early signs are that we may not be able to have that benefit.”
His bottom line is to continue precautionary measures such as social distancing, wearing a mask and good hygiene.
A total of 191 new cases of the coronavirus were reported Tuesday, including 71 in Warren County, which is having an outbreak. The total cases have now reached at least 6,853 in Kentucky.
Ten more people have died, bringing the pandemic total to 321. Four of the deaths were in Kenton County, three in Jefferson County, and one each in Boone, Fayette and Hopkins counties.
Long-term care centers, such as nursing homes continue to see an increase in cases. Tuesday saw 12 new cases involving residents, six staff members, and four more deaths among residents. This makes the total 901 resident cases, 371 involving staff and 185 deaths, all but two involving residents, and 58 percent of all coronavirus deaths in Kentucky.
For the latest Kentucky-specific information on the pandemic, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.
For those without internet access, call (800) 722-5725.