News Alert as more children develop deadly syndrome scientists believe may be linked to coronavirus

Alert as more children develop deadly syndrome scientists believe may be linked to coronavirus

The syndrome affecting children has not yet been linked to the coronavirus. Photo: Getty
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US health officials plan to issue an alert about a rare syndrome that more than 100 American children have developed, as they probe whether it is linked to the coronavirus.

Doctors will be required to report cases of the life-threatening inflammatory syndrome to their state and local health departments.

The alert from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be released on Wednesday or Thursday, an agency spokesman said in an emailed statement.

US scientists have been working to understand the inflammatory syndrome associated with exposure to the new coronavirus, which has stricken children in Italy, Spain, Britain and the United States.

In New York, more than 100 children are reported to have developed the syndrome, which may occur days to weeks after a COVID-19 illness.

At least three children have died, the state reported on Saturday. All three tested positive for the coronavirus or had antibodies to it, suggesting the syndrome is linked to COVID-19.

The syndrome shares symptoms with toxic shock and Kawasaki disease, with symptoms such as fever, skin rashes, swelling of the glands and, in severe cases, inflammation of arteries of the heart.

Scientists are still trying to determine whether the syndrome is linked with COVID-19 because not all children with it have tested positive for the virus.