Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Information for Families
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.
For more information about MIS-C in the US and Georgia please visit https://dph.georgia.gov/mis-c-statistics
Signs and symptoms
Children with MIS-C have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal (gut) pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired. Be aware that not all children will have all the same symptoms. Contact your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic right away if your child is showing symptoms of MIS-C.
Seek emergency care right away if your child is showing any of these emergency warning signs of MIS-C or other concerning signs:
- Trouble breathing
- Pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
- Severe abdominal pain
We do not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can occur weeks after COVID-19 and even if the child or family did not know the child had COVID-19.
We don’t know why some children have gotten sick with MIS-C and others have not. We also do not know if children with certain health conditions are more likely to get MIS-C. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Doctors will do tests and imaging to check for inflammation or other signs of disease. This may include blood tests, a chest x-ray, a heart ultrasound (echocardiogram), and an abdominal ultrasound
Supportive care may be provided to help your child feel better and various medicines may be needed to treat inflammation. Most children who become ill with MIS-C will need to be treated in the hospital. Some will need to be treated in the pediatric intensive care unit (ICU).
The best way you can protect your child is by taking steps to prevent your child and the entire household from getting the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccination, face coverings, hand hygiene, and physical distancing are the best ways to prevent COVID-19. Children with underlying medical conditions can be at higher risk for poor outcomes of COVID-19, making prevention measures even more important.
Visit https://www.dph.georgia.gov for more information on COVID-19 prevention.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Information for Families: https://www.cdc.gov/mis/mis-c.html
- Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA): https://www.choa.org/medical-services/infectious-diseases/mis-c
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/covid_inflammatory_condition.aspx
Page last updated 6/1/22