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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: 05/22/2020

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a health condition appearing in children in the United States and elsewhere. Some doctors think the condition is related to having coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but the connection is still not clear.

MIS-C is a rare condition that closely resembles other serious inflammatory conditions, such as Kawasaki syndrome and toxic shock syndrome. MIS-C can be life-threatening, so it's important that parents know the signs and symptoms.

Most children who have been diagnosed with MIS-C have fever lasting several days, along with other symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Irritability or sluggishness
  • Abdominal pain without another explanation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Red or pink eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Enlarged lymph node (or "gland") on one side of the neck
  • Red, cracked lips or red tongue that looks like a strawberry
  • Swollen hands and feet, which might also be red

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.

If your child has a persistent fever above 101, contact your pediatrician for guidance. Alert your pediatrician to any other symptoms your child has, particularly if they appear in the list above.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children/mis-c.html