What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children?
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a condition where various body parts become inflamed, including the brain, eyes, gastrointestinal organs, heart, kidneys, lungs and/or the skin.
The causes of MIS-C are still unknown and health experts are still researching about it. But recent news and initial research say that this syndrome may be related to COVID-19 as many children with MIS-C were either exposed to someone with COVID-19 or had the virus that causes it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common symptoms of MIS-C are:
- Abdominal (gut) pain
- Bloodshot eyes
- Feeling extra tired
- Neck pain
Not all children will have these symptoms. However, MIS-C gets worse quickly so if your child shows any sign of MIS-C, please call your doctor as soon as possible. For more concerning symptoms, such as breathing difficulties, chest pain, extreme abdominal pain, confusion, inability to wake up or stay awake or having bluish lips or face, call 911 immediately.
Your doctor may need to conduct blood tests, an abdominal ultrasound, a chest x-ray and a heart ultrasound (echocardiogram) on your child to diagnose this syndrome. Children who are diagnosed with MIS-C are usually confined in the hospital and are given fluids/medicine to treat inflammation and their symptoms. On the other hand, those with more severe symptoms may need to be brought in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
How to Protect Your Child from MIS-C
Since the cause of MIS-C is still unknown, the best way to protect your child is to practice the safety precautions against COVID-19. These include:
- Maintaining a safe distance between your child and other people
- Requiring your child to wear a mask when going outside
- Washing your child’s hands often
- Limiting face-to-face playtime with other children
- Cleaning and disinfecting your house regularly
- Sanitizing your child’s toys
- Asking your doctor about immunizations
- Eating healthy
- Getting enough sleep
Research about MIS-C is ongoing so there’s still more to learn about the syndrome. For now, if your child has symptoms of MIS-C or COVID-19, please schedule an appointment with your pediatrician.
All the best!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization