Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) was first discovered in 2020 as a health condition associated with COVID-19. The syndrome was previously called pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

MIS-C is a rare but serious inflammatory condition, such as Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome. Children with MIS-C can have problems with their heart and other organs and need to receive medical care in a hospital.

MIS-C is not contagious, but it may be related to a COVID-19 infection, which is contagious.

Prevention

You and your child should follow general COVID-19 prevention guidance. It is important you and your child wear a face covering, wash your hands and practice physical distancing.

Children with underlying medical conditions can be at higher risk for poor outcomes of COVID-19, making prevention measures even more important.

Symptoms

Most children have fever (temperature of at least 100.4 degrees F) lasting several days, along with other symptoms, including:

  • Irritability or decreased activity
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Conjunctivitis (red or pink eyes)
  • Poor feeding
  • Red, cracked lips or red, bumpy tongue that looks like a strawberry
  • Swollen hands and feet, which might also be red

Call your child’s health care provider immediately if your child has a persistent fever and any of the above symptoms. The doctor will ask about the symptoms your child has and use that information to recommend next steps. If your child is very ill, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately.

Treatment

Children with MIS-C can be treated with different therapies, including medicines that target the body’s immune system and inflammatory response. Children may also receive medicines to protect their heart, kidneys and other organs.

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