What Is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)?
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 inflammatorysyndrome in children (MIS-C). Experts don't know why some kids get
MIS-C after coronavirus infection and others don't.
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.
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.
What Problems Can Happen?
MIS-C can cause different problems in different kids. The inflammation can affect
the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, digestive
or eyes. Sometimes, this can
damage the organs, especially the heart, or cause too much clotting in the blood vessels.
How Is MIS-C Diagnosed?
MIS-C symptoms can be similar to those caused by other illnesses, such as Kawasaki
disease or toxic shock
syndrome. If a doctor thinks a child might have MIS-C, they will do tests that
look for signs of inflammation in the body. These can include:
The doctor might talk with a team of specialists who can help diagnose and treat
MIS-C. They can include experts in infectious disease, cardiology (heart), rheumatology
(bones, joints, and immune system), and critical care.
How Is MIS-C Treated?
How doctors treat MIS-C depends on a child's symptoms and test results. They can
give oxygen, medicines, and intravenous
(IV) fluids to reduce inflammation, prevent excessive blood clotting, or protect
the affected organs from more problems. Some children might need treatment in the
ICU (intensive care unit).
What Else Should I Know?
Most kids with MIS-C get better after being treated in the hospital. But some can
have lasting problems and need care from specialists after they go home.
For example, kids who develop heart problems due to MIS-C will need regular visits
with a cardiologist. They may have to avoid exercise or sports for a while, until
the cardiologist says it's OK. Kids who get some kinds medicines (like steroids for
reducing inflammation) will see a specialist, such as a rheumatologist or endocrinologist,
who can help them adjust their medicines as needed.
MIS-C is very rare. The best way to prevent it is to prevent coronavirus infection.
This means following public health guidelines during the pandemic, such as wearing
masks in public, washing
hands well and often, practicing social
distancing, avoiding crowds, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available.