Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ordered an investigation into a coronavirus-linked illness that is suspected to have killed at least three children in the United States.

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy has been told to gather urgent medical advice on Kawasaki disease from Australia and overseas before political leaders meet later this week.

Murphy has warned of an apparent link between the illness and COVID-19.

“Kawasaki disease can be set off by other viral infections, but we don’t know whether these children have a predisposition that has been exposed,” Murphy told the Senate on Wednesday.

“It’s one of those rare things that has emerged because of the huge burden of the infected load (of cases) in those countries.

“We’ve got alerts on it and we’re clearly watching it.”

Kawasaki disease is uncommon and mostly affects children under five years. It has emerged in children in the USA and the UK, with 100 cases diagnosed in New York.

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