Young adults can also get the rare coronavirus-linked inflammatory syndrome being seen in children, doctors say

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  • Some young adults in their early 20s have been hospitalized with the same mysterious multisystem inflammatory syndrome that has been infecting children.
  • Some doctors are pushing health experts to expand the warnings to include young adults.
  • The syndrome seems to be more severe in older patients.
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Some people in their 20s have been hospitalized with the same mysterious multisystem inflammatory syndrome that has been primarily infecting children, and some doctor’s are urging public health experts to expand the warnings to include young adults.

The Washington Post reported that Jane Burns, a doctor who runs the Kawasaki disease research center at UC San Diego, is trying to expand warnings about the condition.

As of now, there were a few patients in their early 20s hospitalized with the syndrome in New York City, a 20-year-old hospitalized in San Diego, and a 25-year-old in Long Island, New York.

But the syndrome looks different in older patients. While children have symptoms that look similar to the traditional Kawasaki’s disease, with rashes and fever, older patients tend to be hit more severely, with the syndrome affecting their heart and other organs.

Many adult doctors had “never seen Kawasaki disease before because that’s a disease of children,” Burns said.

Kawasaki is a very rare children’s disease

Public health organizations have been sounding the alarms on the new syndrome. The CDC published a health advisory warning doctors to look out for new cases, and the World Health Organization has put its clinical network on high alert for signs of the disease in children.

Kawasaki disease causes inflammation in the walls of the arteries throughout the body, and about one in 10,000 children under the age of 5 get the disease annually.

The new syndrome has symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease, with doctors recording symptoms like swelling of hands and feet, swollen lymph glands in the neck and inflammation of the mouth and lips.

“Kawasaki syndrome does not have a precise cause, but in genetically predisposed children there is a triggering environmental factor, probably infectious and probably viral,” pediatrician Dr Marianna Fabi, who is treating five cases at Bologna’s Sant’Orsola-Malpighi hospital, told Il Corriere Della Sera.

Doctors still do not fully understand why the syndrome is occurring, or why it seems to mostly affect children.

Parents are being urged to take children with high fever, rashes, or stomach pains to the doctor immediately.