NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Thirteen Louisiana children have developed a rare inflammatory disease related to the new coronavirus and one has died, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday.
Details on the young person who died were not provided out of respect for the privacy of the family, Edwards said.
The disease is known as multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children. The state health department, which this week began reporting weekly statistics on the syndrome, said it can cause inflammation of multiple organs, including the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, eyes and gastrointestinal organs.
The Centers for Disease Control's information on the disease warns of symptoms including fever, abdominal pain without another explanation, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, red or cracked lips, bumpy tongue, and swollen hands and feet. The state says the age range of those suffering from the ailment in Louisiana is from 0 to 19 years and the median age is 11. Four are currently hospitalized and eight have been discharged.
The 13 cases are a small percentage of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Louisiana, which climbed to about 38,500 in figures reported Wednesday. It was an increase of more than 400 from the day before as the number of tests conducted in the state continues to grow.
The number of people hospitalized with the disease caused by the virus has fallen below 800 for the first time since late March.
A falling hospitalization rate is one of the factors state officials use to decide how and when restrictions on public gatherings and business can be eased.
The death toll in the state from the disease rose to 2,617, up by 21 from Tuesday. Officials say at least 28,700 people have recovered from the disease.
Also Wednesday, Edwards said the state is on track to reach its goal of testing 200,000 people for the coronavirus during May. Sunday is the last day of the month.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up within weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and be life-threatening.