A rare and deadly complication from the coronavirus infection is now being reported in adults, after several deadly cases in children earlier this year.
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) was reported in teens and children after the start of the pandemic, with tragic outcomes. More than 1,000 cases have been reported to the CDC as of October, of those about 20 children have died.
There are now more than two dozen reported cases in adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it is being called MIS-A, for “adults.”
The CDC warns that symptoms of MIS-A can present in patients who did not have COVID-19 symptoms but later tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.
“These patients might not have positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR or antigen test results, and antibody testing might be needed to confirm previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because of the temporal association between MIS-A and SARS-CoV-2 infections, interventions that prevent COVID-19 might prevent MIS-A,” the CDC’s report states.
In children, symptoms have included shock, cardiac dysfunction, abdominal pain, and elevated inflammatory signs. According to the CDC, there have been similar symptoms spotted in adults.
“Findings indicate that adult patients of all ages with current or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection can develop a hyperinflammatory syndrome resembling MIS-C,” the CDC states.
The CDC’s report looks at 16 patients who ranged in age from 21 to 50, of those, nine had no reported underlying medical conditions. Of the 16 patients tracked in the studies, two of them died.
The time between a coronavirus infection and the development of MIS-A is unclear, and varied widely in the cases studied by the CDC.
Some of the patients had tested positive for COVID-19 several days before they were admitted to the hospital with MIS-A symptoms, at least one patient tested positive 41 days before. A few of them had tested positive for COVID-19, then tested negative before they developed MIS-A.