VIDEO: What parents should know about mysterious new illness in kids possibly linked to COVID-19
In Los Angeles, doctor's at Children's Hospital are treating three young patients with the condition and they expect to see more.
The condition is similar to Kawasaki Disease, a rare, complex syndrome that turns a child's immune system against its blood vessels.
And that could lead to permanent heart damage. There is a risk of having coronary artery problems for life.
RELATED: Is the Bay Area ready for Phase 2? Here's what every single county says
In the United States, about 5,500 cases of Kawasaki Disease are diagnosed each year. But like many pediatric hospitals around the world, Children's Hospital Los Angeles is seeing an uptick in cases compared to the previous two years.
Dr. Jacqueline Szmuszkovicz, who has studied Kawasaki Disease, said the three children at Children's Hospital being treated all tested positive for antibodies to COVID-19, meaning they likely had the novel coronavirus some time before developing Kawasaki symptoms.
VIDEO: VIDEO: 12-year-old girl who suffered heart failure after COVID-19 diagnosis speaks out
"And now their immune system is responding with inflammation," she said. "That's leading to a syndrome."
Szmuszkovicz says the connection has led to a new diagnosis called PIMS, for Pediatric Inflammatory Multi-System Syndrome.
Kawasaki symptoms include: persistent high fever, rash, red cracked lips, red tongue, swollen eyes, hands and feet, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.
The three children being treated at CHLA are all doing well and are being given customized treatment plans. Doctors are now looking into other recent Kawasaki cases to see if these patients were also exposed to COVID-19.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: How close was CA to becoming a NY-level crisis?
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- How California's COVID-19 cases stack up against other hot spot states
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Stimulus calculator: How much money should you expect from coronavirus relief bill
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Asian American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on African American community
- What Bay Area tenants need to know about rent payments, eviction amid COVID-19 outbreak
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- Canceled late fees, free services available amid COVID-19 crisis
- Here's how you can help during COVID-19 pandemic
- How to maintain learning during school closures
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions