YOUNG adults are also being hit by the Kawasaki-like mysterious illness striking children amid the coronavirus pandemic, warn doctors.
At least six people in their 20s are being treated for the life-threatening syndrome in California and New York.
The new coronavirus has so far taken its greatest toll on the elderly and those with chronic health conditions.
But reports about the syndrome in children have raised fears it could pose a greater risk to the young than first assumed.
Some researchers have suggested the coronavirus family might trigger Kawasaki disease.
Dr Jennifer Lighter, who specializes in pediatric infectious diseases at NYU Langone, New York City, said, "the older [patients] have had a more severe course" of Kawasaki-like inflammatory illness.
The condition, known as paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS), shares symptoms with toxic shock and Kawasaki disease including fever, rashes, swollen glands and, in severe cases, heart inflammation.
Dr Lighter told the the Washington Post that teens and young adults are suffering more of an "overwhelming" impact to their heart and several organs.
And Dr Jane Burns, boss of the Kawasaki Disease Research Center at University of California at San Diego, said she fears it may be underdiagnosed in adult patients.
The Post says that sufferers currently include a 20-year-old in San Diego and a 25-year-old at Northwell Health's Long island Jewish Medical Center.
Plus, several patients also aged in their early 20s are being treated for the syndrome at NYU Langone.
Dr Burns said that many medics had never treated patients with Kawasaki before the coronavirus pandemic hit the US, as it normally affects children.
Although NYC is seeing a drop in coronavirus cases, there has been a spike in kids and young adults with the inflammatory condition.
More than 20 states have so far recorded cases, "with the total number estimated to be several hundred", the Post reports.
NYC alone has recorded 147 children with Kawasaki.
The World Health Organization recently issued a preliminary definition of the syndrome, which it said had become more frequent during the current pandemic but has also appeared in children who did not test positive for Covid-19.
The rare condition has been affecting children and adolescents showing fever for more than three days, with elevated markers of inflammation.
Children showed at least two of these symptoms: rash or signs of inflammation around the mouth, hands or feet; shock or low blood pressure; heart problems; evidence of bleeding disorder; and acute gastrointestinal problems.
What are the symptoms of the new 'inflammatory syndrome' in kids linked to coronavirus?
- Stomach pain
- Gastrointestinal symptoms – like vomiting and diarrhoea
The mysterious condition has been compared to toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and Kawasaki disease.
The signs of TSS are:
- High temperature
- Flu-like symptoms, like headache, feeling cold, aches, sore throat and cough
- Feeling and being sick
- Widespread burn-like rash
- Lips, tongue, and whites of the eyes turning bright red
- Dizziness or fainting
- Difficulty breathing
Signs of Kawasaki disease include:
- A rash
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Dry, cracked lips
- Red fingers or toes
- Red eyes
It is being noted in young patients who had contracted Covid-19 or had likely had contact with coronavirus patients, and suffered no other obvious microbial cause of inflammation.
“We know so far very little about this inflammatory syndrome,” said WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove.
Dr George Ofori-Amanfo, division chief of Pediatric Critical Care at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, New York, said: “The symptoms in children are different from adults with Covid-19 in whom the illness is more of a respiratory condition."
He said none of the children he has seen recently with this syndrome had any underlying disease, but they all had antibodies for the coronavirus.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance to doctors on how to recognize and report cases of the rare, life-threatening syndrome in children associated with the coronavirus.
It defines the condition as occurring in children under 21 with fever, evidence of inflammation, illness severe enough to require hospitalization and impairment of multiple organs such as the heart, kidneys, blood vessels, gut, skin and nerves.
The syndrome associated with Covid-19 has affected more than 230 children in Europe and killed some young patients, as medics worldwide were told to be on alert.
Source: Read Full Article