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PM Calls For Urgent Investigation Into Covid-Linked Illness Killing Children

The prime minister has ordered an urgent investigation into a coronavirus-linked illness 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.

Kawasaki disease is the closest known illness to a disease that has developed in almost 100 American children.

"I will leave that to the medical experts to provide that advice but what they have said is there are no known cases or examples in Australia at this stage," Health Minister Greg Hunt told Nine on Wednesday.

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Treasurer Had A Surplus Of Coughs But A Deficit Of Coronavirus

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has tested negative for coronavirus after bursting into a coughing fit on the floor of parliament on Tuesday.

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Government Expected To Employ CMO For Mental Health In Pandemic Response

The federal government is expected to appoint Associate Professor Ruth Vine as the country's first deputy chief medical officer for mental health to help direct the response to the coronavirus crisis.

There are between 200 and 300 cases of Kawasaki disease diagnosed each year in Australia.

Professor Murphy says it is unlikely Australia will see a spike in cases of the mysterious disease which is like Kawasaki.

"It may appear in other countries with large volumes of infected people but because it's so rare it's unlikely to appear in Australia," Professor Murphy told a Senate inquiry into coronavirus.

"We've got alerts on it and we're clearly watching it."