Four children in L.A. County have been diagnosed with an inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19, officials said Monday.
No local deaths have been tied to the “very serious” but extremely rare illness in children known as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, L.A. County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.
However, the county has identified 21 additional suspected cases in children since March.
Three children have had to be admitted to a pediatric intensive unit, Ferrer said.
Signs are similar to that of Kawasaki disease, which causes acquired heart disease primarily in children under five. Symptoms include fever, rash and swollen hands and feet.
The United Kingdom first reported seeing swelling and redness in blood vessels throughout the body of some children that test positive for COVID-19, Ferrer said.
In New York City, officials have reported around 100 suspected cases of the illness, including three deaths, according to The New York Times.
Early cases there have ranged in children 2 to 15 years old, according to L.A. County.
County officials are asking health care providers to report any possible cases.
Earlier in May, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles said it was treating young patients showing symptoms of Kawasaki disease.
Test results suggest the inflammation in children may be a response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, CHLA’s Dr. Michael Neely said at the time.