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What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)? Is it the same as Kawasaki disease or Kawasaki syndrome? Is my child at risk of MIS-C from COVID-19?

Last Updated: 04/01/2021

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.

It is not yet clear 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 be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.

Contact your child's doctor, nurse, or clinic right away if your child is showing symptoms of MIS-C:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Neck pain
  • Rash
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Feeling extra tired

Be aware that not all children will have all the same symptoms.

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

MIS-C can be treated. Early recognition and evaluation are important. Most children who are diagnosed with MIS-C recover with medication therapy and intravenous fluids, but some children with MIS-C can have problems with their heart and other organs and may need to stay in a hospital to receive support in an intensive care unit.