Doctors in Europe are working to determine if the virus might be linked to rare cases of young children dying from a similar inflammatory condition.
“Right now, we’re at the very beginning of trying to understand what that represents,” Dr. Mark Gorelik of Columbia University Medical Center, told Reuters.
The children, between 6 months and 8 years old, all suffered a fever and inflammation of the heart and gut, according to Reuters. One is in critical condition, one is in intensive care and one has recovered.
Gorelik said he was brought in to determine if the children have Kawasaki disease, which can cause inflammation of the arteries of the heart.
He said the cases are likely not Kawasaki disease but have “very similar features.”
“It seems a week to two weeks [after contracting the virus], you may have the immune system responding in a very disorganized way,” he said.
Matt Hancock, the U.K.’s health secretary, said Tuesday that some of the children who died had no underlying conditions. These cases were documented in Italy and Britain, according to Reuters.
“It’s a new disease that we think may be caused by coronavirus and the COVID-19 virus, but we’re not 100 percent sure because some of the people who got it hadn’t tested positive, so we’re doing a lot of research now, but it’s something we’re worried about,” he told LBC Radio, according to the report. Doctors have urged parents not to panic and said instances are rare.
A 6-month-old who was hospitalized in California recently with Kawasaki disease also tested positive for COVID-19, according to Reuters.
Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.