Connecting Clues, Doctors Treat COVID-Linked Illness in Children

Dr George Ofori-Amanfo and patient David Vargas [Photo courtesy Mt Sinai Hospital]

NEW YORK, NY (June 15, 2020) — The partnership between the New York State Department of Health, the New York Genome Center (NYGC), and The Rockefeller University to better understand COVID-linked illness in children, announced by Governor Cuomo last month, is now well underway. Journalist Colin Baker, in a wire report for Al Jazeera, shares the story of David Vargas, a pediatric patient at Mt. Sinai, and his physician, Dr. George Ofori-Amanfo. David was one of the first young New Yorkers to experience the rare new COVID-linked illness, which is now known as multi-inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C.

The NYGC is the first stop for samples from Dr Ofori-Amanfo’s patients and others who have volunteered to be anonymously analyzed. The NYGC rapidly translates the protein-coding parts of a patient’s DNA and writes the data onto an encrypted hard drive, about 150 gigabytes per patient, which is delivered to the St Giles Laboratory at Rockefeller University for further analysis. This work aims to pinpoint these unique cases, to connect “one gene, one infection” where possible, and discover interventions to supplement missing pieces.

Read the complete report.