(WCBS/CNN) – More than 150 children across the US have been infected with a mystery illness that may be linked to COVID-19. Eight-year-old Jayden Hardowar is just one of those children.
Jayden first came down with a fever three weeks ago.
His father Roup told CBS 2’s Ali Bauman from their home in Richmond Hill, New York, that Jayden had no other symptoms until a few days later when he went into cardiac arrest.
“He called mommy, he turned to his side and he never respond anymore,” Roup said.
Jayden’s brother administered CPR, likely saving his life. He was rushed to Cohen Children’s Medical Center where he would spend the next two weeks, sedated and isolated from his family.
“As long as they were getting a heartbeat and getting a pulse that was enough to get me confidence he was gonna come back,” Roup said.
Jayden tested negative for COVID-19 but tested positive for the antibody.
“It seems to be a post-infectious syndrome where the immune system is hyperactive and leads to inflammation of the heart muscle or arteries of the body,” said Dr. James Schneider at Cohen Children’s Medical Center.
On Tuesday, fourteen new cases of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome were reported in New York City, a nearly 40 percent jump in just 24 hours.
“Parents around the state and around the country are very concerned about this and they should be,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Gov. Cuomo has now ordered hospitals to prioritize COVID-19 testing for children displaying the symptoms, which are similar to Kawasaki disease.
They include a fever, whole-body rash, bright red eyes, swollen lymph nodes, feet and hands, red cracked lips, an extreme headache, and sometimes difficulty breathing.
“Why do you think it is that after 2 months of this pandemic we’re just starting to see this now?” asked CBS 2’s Ali Bauman.
“If children were infected within those first few weeks they were asymptomatic. Their bodies developed this immune reaction, then a few weeks later we’re seeing the emergence of this illness,” Schneider said.
Tuesday evening Jayden was discharged from the hospital and is now recovering at home.
“It was different without him so we’re glad he’s home with us,” Roup said.
Not all children will display all the symptoms but if they’re experiencing any, doctors advise bringing the child to a pediatrician right away.
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