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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

Reviewed by: Deepika Thacker, MD

Also called: Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS); Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS)

What Is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to usually cause a milder infection in kids than in adults and older people. But some children have developed more serious symptoms, sometimes several weeks after being infected with the virus. Doctors are calling this multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Most kids with MIS-C get better after they get special care in the hospital, sometimes in the ICU (intensive care unit).

What Are the Signs of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)?

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) causes symptoms that are due to inflammation (irritation, pain, swelling) throughout the body. Doctors are trying to find out how these symptoms are related to coronavirus infection.

Symptoms that have been seen in kids include:

  • a fever
  • belly pain
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • a rash
  • neck pain
  • red, cracked lips
  • red eyes
  • being extra tired
  • swollen hands or feet
  • swollen lymph nodes

If your child has any of these symptoms, call your doctor. Kids with this inflammatory syndrome may quickly get worse. Go to the ER right away if your child looks very sick, has trouble breathing, has chest pain, has very bad belly pain, looks bluish in the lips or face, or is very sleepy or confused.

Reviewed by: Deepika Thacker, MD
Date reviewed: July 2020