Young adults are also affected by the mysterious Kawasaki disease that strikes children in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, warn doctors.
At least six people in their twenties are being treated for life-threatening syndrome in California and New York.
The new coronavirus has so far done the most damage to the elderly and people with chronic health conditions.
But reports of the syndrome in children have raised concerns that it may pose a higher risk to young people than expected.
Some researchers have suggested that the coronavirus family may trigger Kawasaki disease.
Dr. Jennifer Lighter, who specializes in pediatric infectious diseases at NYU Langone, New York City, said, “The oldest [patients] have had a more severe course of “Kawasaki-type inflammatory disease.”
The disease, known as Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS), shares symptoms with toxic shock and Kawasaki disease, including fever, rashes, swollen glands and, in severe cases, inflammation cardiac.
Dr. Lighter told the Washington Post that teens and young adults suffer more from an “overwhelming” impact on their hearts and multiple organs.
And Dr. Jane Burns, boss of the Kawasaki Disease Research Center at the University of California at San Diego, said she was concerned that he might not be underdiagnosed in adult patients.
The Post says the sufferers are currently a 20-year-old woman in San Diego and a 25-year-old woman at Long Island Jewish Medical Center at Northwell Health.
In addition, several patients also aged in their early twenties are being treated for NYU Langone syndrome.
Dr. Burns said that many doctors had never treated patients with Kawasaki before the coronavirus pandemic reached the United States because it normally affects children.
Although NYC has seen a decrease in coronavirus cases, there has been a spike in children and young adults with inflammatory disease.
So far, more than 20 states have registered cases, “with an estimated total of several hundred,” reports the Post.
NYC alone has registered 147 children with Kawasaki.
The World Health Organization recently released a preliminary definition of the syndrome, which it says has become more common during the current pandemic, but has also appeared in children who have not tested positive for Covid- 19.
The rare disease affects children and adolescents who have had a fever for more than three days, with high markers of inflammation.
Children have had 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 children associated with coronavirus?
- Stomach pain
- Gastrointestinal symptoms – such as vomiting and diarrhea
The mysterious condition has been compared to toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and Kawasaki disease.
The signs of TSS are:
- High temperature
- Flu-like symptoms, such as headache, feeling cold, body aches, sore throat, and cough
- Feel and be sick
- Generalized rash similar to a burn
- Lips, tongue and white of the eyes turning bright red
- Dizziness or fainting
- Difficulty breathing
Signs of Kawasaki disease include:
- Skin rash
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Dry and chapped lips
- Red fingers or toes
- red eyes
It is noted in young patients who had contracted Covid-19 or who had likely been in contact with patients with coronavirus and who had 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 Head of Pediatric Intensive Care at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, New York, said, “Symptoms in children are different from those in adults with Covid-19 who have more a respiratory condition. “
He said that none of the children he had seen recently with this syndrome had an underlying disease, but all of them had antibodies to the coronavirus.
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The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published guidelines for physicians on how to recognize and report rare life-threatening syndrome in children associated with coronavirus.
He defines the condition as occurring in children under the age of 21 with fever, signs of inflammation, a disease severe enough to require hospitalization, and damage to several organs such as the heart, kidneys, vessels blood, gut, skin and nerves.
Covid-19 syndrome has affected more than 230 children in Europe and killed a few young patients while doctors around the world were on alert.
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