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50% of Adults Diagnosed with MIS-A Linked to COVID-19, At Risk of 1 in 10 Dying

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Adults (MIS-A) is a rare but severe complication linked to COVID-19 associated with hyperinflammation condition often seen in children and adolescents. Half of the adults who developed this rare inflammatory condition are admitted to ICUs and at risk of fatal outcomes- even death.

In the study of COVID-19 patients aged 18 and up diagnosed with Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Adults (MIS-A), researchers found that intensive care units (ICUs) are necessary confinement of more than half of the adults and nearly as many needed respiratory assistance.  Furthermore, nearly one out of every ten MIS-A patients died.

Burning Rash and Subsequent Desquamation on the Palms of MIS-A Patient (Photo: JAAD Case Reports)

In April 2020, doctors issued a warning to children in Europe and America who suffered fever, skin rashes, and gland swelling caused by COVID-19. According to the CDC, the findings imply that the health of adults with MIS-A can drastically deteriorate and that doctors should be on the lookout for ways to medicate the condition before it is too late.

Initially, the condition was only diagnosed in children and was called Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS) or Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). It was originally assumed to be related to Kawasaki disease, a condition that produces inflammation in the walls of blood vessels and primarily affects children under the age of five.

However, multiple case reports and series of a similar condition in adults known as MIS-A have been reported since then. The CDC examined 221 people diagnosed with MIS-A worldwide between May 1, 2020 and May 25, 2021 for the latest study, which was published in JAMA Network Open.

Symptoms of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Adults (MIS-A)

The majority of MIS-A patients came to the hospital with some symptoms; the most prevalent was fever, with 197 or 89% suffering a temperature spike. Low blood pressure was detected in 133 patients or 60%; cardiac dysfunction was seen in 114 patients or 51%’ and shortness of breath was reported in 102 patients or 46%. Ten of the patients were diagnosed with Kawasaki disease when they arrived at the hospital.

Researchers discovered that 52% of patients required ICU admission and 45% required respiratory intervention. Moreover, at least 15 of the patients, or around 7%, died.

The CDC team advises doctors to be on the lookout for cases of MIS-A in order to identify patients as soon as possible before the illness worsens. They also pointed out that the best way to prevent hyperinflammatory syndromes such as MIS-A and its severe outcomes is to hinder the transmission and infection of COVID-19.