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What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)? Is my child at risk of MIS-C from COVID-19?
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
- Dizziness or lightheadedness (signs of low blood pressure)
- Skin rash
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.