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What Is MIS-C And Its Connection To COVID-19? Learn More Here

What Is MIS-C And Its Connection To COVID-19? Learn More Here

Considering that children can now get immunized from the virus, many parents worry about possible side effects. This article shares more information about what is MIS-C and why it is tagged in the discussion of COVID-19 vaccinations in children.

What is MIS-C?

Multiple Inflammatory Syndrome in children, popularly known as MIS-C, refers to a rare complication of COVID-19 in which several bodily parts become inflamed. It may include the following:

  • Heart
  • Brain
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys
  • Gastrointestinal organs
  • Skin
  • Eyes

MIS-C has a wide range of symptoms that affect the body’s many organs and systems. Toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease, wherein the coronary arteries expand or aneurysms form, affects a huge number of children. Inflammation of the heart, as well as low blood pressure and a rash or red eyes, as well as gastrointestinal symptoms, are also prevalent.

There are still no known causes of MIS-C. But, the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) is known to be present in many children with MIS-C. It is either they were infected with the virus or had been around someone infected with it.

According to the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), multisystem inflammatory syndrome could be a long-term complication in kids who contract COVID-19. Although it can be severe, or even fatal, the majority of children who have it have improved after receiving medical attention.

In the country, there are no serious side effects that have been reported after the COVID-19 vaccination for kids ages five to 11.

Some people may also refer to this as the pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PMIS) or pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS).

What Are MIS-C Symptoms?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), kids who have MIS-C usually experience fever and other symptoms, including but not limited to the following:

  • Stomach pain
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness (signs of low blood pressure)
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting

However, not all children show the same symptoms. Some may have it mild while others may have it worse.

Immediately seek emergency care if your child experiences symptoms such as:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds (depending on the skin tone)

Doctors may run a series of tests to diagnose MIS-C which may include:

  • COVID-19 test
  • Blood tests
  • Chest x-ray
  • Heart ultrasound (echocardiogram)
  • Abdominal ultrasound

They may provide symptomatic relief through medicines and/or fluids. After which, they will make use of a variety of medications to treat the inflammation. Many children with MIS-C may require hospitalization. For some, they may even need treatment in the pediatric intensive care unit (ICU).

Connection Between MIS-C and COVID-19

Many experts agree that MIS-C is a complication of COVID-19. If not detected and treated early, it can bring detrimental effects on vital organs, such as the heart or lungs. Moreover, it can cause lasting damage or even death in rare cases.

Pediatrician Anna Sick-Samuels, M.D., M.P.H. shares that several children with MIS-C will also have antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Thus, indicating previous body infection. Doctors and researchers alike are still trying to figure out why several children develop the disease after COVID -19 infection but not other types.

Dr. Elizabeth Mack, the division chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and spokeswoman of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), stated that MIS-C can be prevented through COVID vaccination.

According to CDC, immunization does not only give protection to children against chronic COVID condition but also from MIS-C. Hence, children should get the vaccine as a layer of protection for both diseases. Doctors postpone the vaccine administration for at least 90 days when your child has MIS-C.

Key Takeaways

Multiple Inflammatory Syndrome in children, popularly known as MIS-C, refers to the condition in which several bodily parts become inflamed. The COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective way to prevent MIS-C in children ages 5 and above.

Learn more about Coronavirus here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Expert reveals potential long-term effect of COVID-19 infection to kids, https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1554491/fwd-multisystem-inflammatory-syndrome-a-potential-long-term-effect-among-children-after-covid-19-infection-expert Accessed February 14, 2022

For Parents: Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19, https://www.cdc.gov/mis/mis-c.html Accessed February 14, 2022

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/pmis.html Accessed February 15, 2022

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and COVID-19, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mis-c-in-kids-covid-19/symptoms-causes/syc-20502550 Accessed February 15, 2022

COVID-19 and Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/covid_inflammatory_condition.aspx, Accessed February 15, 2022 

CDC: Vaccination effective against MIS-C, https://web.musc.edu/about/news-center/2022/01/11/cdc-vaccination-effective-against-misc, Accessed February 15, 2022

MIS-C and COVID-19: Uncommon but Serious Inflammatory Syndrome in Kids and Teens, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/misc-and-covid19-rare-inflammatory-syndrome-in-kids-and-teens, Accessed Febriuary 15, 2022

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Written by Fiel Tugade Updated Mar 30
Medically reviewed by Via Roderos, MD, MBA