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What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)? Is my child at risk of MIS-C from COVID-19?

Last Updated: 02/15/2023

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) is a rare but serious condition associated with COVID-19 where different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal tract. MIS can affect children (MIS-C) and adults (MIS-A).

Based on what we know now, the best way to prevent MIS-C or MIS-A is to take actions to protect yourself from getting COVID-19, including COVID-19 vaccination for people 6 months and older.

MISC-C usually occurs 2-6 weeks after a child is infected with COVID-19. The child's COVID-19 infection may be very mild or have no symptoms at all and may go unrecognized. CDC is still learning the underlying reasons why some children get MIS-C after COVID-19 and others do not. We don't know if particular variants are more likely to cause MIS-C, or if certain children are more likely to get MIS-C.

Contact your child's doctor, nurse, or clinic right away if your child is showing symptoms of MIS-C -- ongoing fever PLUS more than one of the following:

  • Stomach pain
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness (signs of low blood pressure)
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting

Be aware that not all children will have 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

Current data show that most children with an MIS-C diagnosis recover quickly and there is no lasting damage to their health. Your child may stay in the hospital for a few days for treatment, and doctors may repeat blood tests to make sure your child is responding well to treatment.