Several young adults are now in hospital in New York City and San Diego with a life-threatening Kawasaki-like inflammatory condition, believed to be linked to Covid-19
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A severe Kawasaki-like illness which has affected children during the coronavirus pandemic is now being reported in young adults.
Doctors in the US say several patients in their 20s are in hospital with the life-threatening inflammatory condition, Washington Post reports.
A 20-year-old is being treated in San Diego, California, while several young adults are being cared for in New York City.
Worryingly, it appears that in teens and young adults, the mysterious syndrome leads to a more "overwhelming" response affecting the heart and other organs.
Dr Jennifer Lighter, a specialist in paediatric infectious disease at New York University's Langone hospital, says that while younger children tend to suffer symptoms that look like traditional Kawasaki, older patients "have had a more severe course".
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The cases have led to fears children are more vulnerable to Covid-19 than previously thought
Doctors have now reported seeing children with the illness – known as paediatric inflammatory multi-system syndrome (PIMS) – in the UK, US, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
The Mirror last week reported on the tragic death of eight-month-old Alexander Parsons, from Plymouth, in his mother's arms after being struck down with the condition.
New York City alone has recorded 147 children with the condition, a number which has increased despite a drop in coronavirus cases.
The link between the PIMS – which appears to cause fever, rashes and shock or low blood pressure – and Covid-19 remains unclear.
Several adults are now hospitalised with the syndrome in New York
While some young patients have tested positive for the flu-like virus, others have tested negative.
However, some medics now believe that coronaviruses could trigger Kawasaki-like symptoms.
The World Health Organization has said the condition, which affects children and teens who suffer a fever for more than three days, has become more common during the global pandemic.
The cases have raised fears that the coronavirus could pose a greater risk to young people than previously thought.
"We know so far very little about this inflammatory syndrome," WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove warns.