Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

Here’s what you need to know about Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) in order to make safe and healthy choices for your family.

Concerned about your child's symptoms?

MIS-C Symptom Checker

Page updated at 1pm May 22, 2020

Current status for children

Likelihood of contraction

Very Low

Severity of illness

Very Serious

What is MIS-C?

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (commonly shortened MIS-C) is a cluster of symptoms that have recently been observed alongside COVID-19 infections or exposure in kids. If left untreated, it can lead to a shock like illness marked by low blood pressure, poor organ function, and can be life threatening.

What are the symptoms of MIS-C?

All Patients

All Patients

Persistent fever (more than 3 days, greater than 100.4°)*

Most Patients

Most Patients

Exposure to coronavirus, low oxygen (in extreme cases lips or tongue will turn blue due to this) and low blood pressure (poor color, i.e. your child’s skin tone appears grey or pale, sleepy and difficult to arouse, not responding to verbal instructions or physical touch).

Some Patients

Some Patients

Stomach pain, red eyes, cough, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, dry/red/cracked lips, rash, sore throat, swollen hands or feet, loss of consciousness, and/or confusion.

*known cases of MIS-C typically have fevers greater than 101.3° for longer than 4 days

When should I be concerned?

The likelihood of MIS-C is low. Even when showing some of the symptoms above, it is more likely that your child is exhibiting signs of other, more common, illnesses. However, because of the severity of MIS-C, we recommend reaching out to a doctor any time your child has:

  • A fever (greater than 100.4 in children under 2 years old, or greater than 101 in children over 2 years old) for more than 2 days in a row.
  • They seem sick to you, are presenting with any symptoms listed above, and have been continually getting worse after a few days of illness.

Do not delay care if you are worried that your child might be showing symptoms of MIS-C, especially if they have been exposed to COVID-19.

Visit the MIS-C Symptom Checker

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the MIS-C treatments?

Doctors have had success using well understood and widely available inflammation treatments. While there have been a few recorded deaths, the majority of children diagnosed with MIS-C have successfully recovered.

What ages are at risk?

Right now there is little published data on the ages of kids diagnosed with MIS-C. Younger children often lack the ability to communicate what they are feeling, so given the severity of this illness we recommend watching those kids more closely for symptoms.

Relationship to COVID-19

To date, most MIS-C cases have tested positive for an active COVID-19 infection, COVID-19 antibodies indicating they previously had the disease, or have been exposed to another COVID-19 patient within 4 weeks of MIS-C symptoms.

While experts don’t understand exactly what the relationship is between these two illnesses, it is believed that they are linked.

Relationship to Kawasaki disease

While MIS-C and Kawasaki disease share some features, MIS-C is much more severe. Both are related to inflammation in the body, but it is believed that early reports of children showing Kawasaki disease-like symptoms were partially miscategorized.

Is your child experiencing symptoms?

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