MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida now has at least two cases of an illness affecting children that the CDC reports is linked to COVID-19.

Pediatric multi-inflammatory syndrome is rare but can be deadly.

Nearly 200 cases have now been confirmed in 19 states and Washington, D.C.

In South Florida, Jackson Health System confirmed there are two children at the Holtz Children’s Hospital who meet the criteria for the syndrome.

The hospital told CBS4 News both are showing signs of improvement.

“Holtz Children’s Hospital has two confirmed cases that meet the criteria for multi-system inflammatory syndrome. Both patients are receiving appropriate treatment in the pediatric intensive care unit, and are showing signs of improvement.  We have no additional information to release at this time,” read Jackson Health System’s statement.

Nationwide, at least three children have died from this new illness. In severe cases, it can inflame vessels and the heart, sending some children into shock.

In New York, 87% of the cases tested positive for either the virus or for antibodies, which indicates past infection.

The CDC is now asking doctors to report cases to get a handle on this new illness nationwide.

The symptoms of the syndrome have been compared to those of Kawasaki disease.

Kawasaki disease mostly occurs in children under the age of 5, while a study of pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome cases in Italy found an average age of 7½.

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