Illinois coronavirus: Suburban boy, 6, battles mysterious illness possibly linked to COVID-19

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Sara Garcia's 6-year-old son Nolan is hospitalized at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital battling a mysterious inflammatory illness that mimics symptoms of Kawasaki's Disease and appears to be linked to COVID-19.

Garcia took Nolan to the hospital several days ago with a high fever.

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"It started off as just a fever for about three days," she said. "The fever was bad. It went up to about 104.9 degrees."

Nolan was immediately placed in the intensive care unit. At first, doctors thought he had Kawasaki's disease because Nolan's symptoms were similar, but they realized it was something different.

"It is definitely an inflammatory response to the virus because all of his inflammatory markers went up, a lot of heart enzymes went up," Garcia said.

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Nolan is one of a growing number of children nationwide that have developed an inflammatory syndrome related to COVID-19. Symptoms include persistent fever, abdominal problems, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, red eyes and swollen lymph nodes.

"I think as the weeks go on we will have many more kinds in the United States affected by this," said Dr. Frank Belmonte, Advocate Health.

Belmonte said in several of the cases, kids test negative for COVID-19 but positive for the antibodies, meaning the syndrome is showing up later. Nolan Garcia has tested positive for COVID-19, but his mom has no idea how he was exposed.

"We did all the social distancing, we did not go on play dates, we didn't go anywhere," she said. "I just don't know."

At first Garcia was hesitant to take Nolan to the hospital because of possible exposure to COVID-19, but she's thankful she didn't wait another day. She said the outcome may have been much different.

Nolan is expected to make a full recovery, but doctors will not let him go home until he is 100 percent healthy.

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