Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, may not be so aptly named. Officials are learning more about the syndrome thought to be linked to COVID-19, including that it may not be restricted to children. As the Washington Post reports, several cases have appeared in adults in their early 20s. While younger children seem to experience symptoms of Kawaski disease, including inflammation of the blood vessels, teens and young adults experience a "more severe" and "overwhelming" response that involves the heart and other organs, says Jennifer Lighter, a doctor at New York City's Langone Medical Center. The center has several patients in their early 20s, while a 20-year-old in San Diego and a 25-year-old on Long Island are also being treated.
In a New York Times op-ed, Cynthia Wachtell describes how her 20-year-old son—"a strapping 6-foot-2-inch, 190-pound man"—spent four days in a hospital before recovering from MIS-C. "Our children—whether in kindergarten or college—are in far more danger than we realized," she writes. As some doctors believe patients may have a genetic predisposition for an overactive immune response to the coronavirus—most cases of MIS-C appear in patients with COVID-19 antibodies—New York State health authorities are conducting genetic tests to see if there's a link between those with the condition. At least four child patients in the US have died. (Read more MIS-C stories.)