Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (commonly known as MIS-C or PMIS) is a serious condition that has occurred in some children who have contracted COVID-19. This complication causes a significant inflammatory response in a child’s body that can cause a fever, rash and signs of shock. It can even develop several weeks after they’ve initially been infected.
Know the Signs of COVID-19
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally shown mild symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath and cough. Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and headache have also been reported.
If your child shows the common symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider immediately.
Serious Complications of MIS-C
MIS-C causes symptoms that are due to inflammation (fever, irritation, pain) throughout the body and can potentially affect a child’s heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes and gastrointestinal organs.
Public health professionals are working with state and local health departments to learn more about this syndrome, including how common it is and why certain children are at risk.
Not all children with MIS-C will have the same symptoms, but contact your pediatrician immediately if your child shows signs of the following:
• Prolonged fever (lasts several days)
• Belly, neck, and/or joint pain
• Vomiting and diarrhea
• Red, cracked lips
• Red eyes
• Swelling in the hands or feet
• Problems seeing
• Looking pale
• Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
These symptoms could quickly develop into an emergency. Call 911 if your child has trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in their chest, is confused, cannot stay awake, and has blue lips or face and/or severe belly pain.
Learn more about how your family can prevent COVID-19 and how to live with the “new normal.”
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Meg Frizzola, DO, Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, Interim Chair of Pediatrics & Division Chief, Critical Care Medicine at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital.