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MIS-C Fact Sheet 

What to Know about Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), associated with COVID-19

Parents and guardians in Pennsylvania are encouraged to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children (MIS-C). Medical care from a healthcare provider is recommended for all children showing signs of MIS-C as the condition can be serious, even life-threatening. 

MIS-C is a condition associated with COVID-19 where different body parts can be harmed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. If detected early, the condition is treatable. 

MIS-C symptoms usually appear 2-6 weeks after your child tests positive for COVID-19 (with or without having symptoms) or has been around someone that had COVID-19. If your child has an ongoing fever PLUS more than one of the following: stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, bloodshot eyes, dizziness and/or lightheadedness; seek medical attention. 
If you know that your child had COVID-19 or was around someone else who had COVID-19, and your child develops fevers a few weeks later, or if something about your child doesn't seem quite right, trust your instincts and contact a healthcare provider. 

Most children diagnosed with MIS-C have gotten better with medical care. 

What is the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) Doing?

  • PADOH is monitoring MIS-C so we can understand the condition, how it is prevented, and how it is treated. 
  • PADOH encourages the vaccination of all eligible children with an mRNA vaccine to prevent MIS-C and other COVID-19 issues. 

What Can You Do?

  • Keep you and your children's COVID-19 vaccinations up to date. 
  • If the COVID-19 Community Level where you live is: 
    • Low – Have your child wear a mask of their choice based on their level of risk.
    • Medium - If your child is at risk for severe illness, talk to their healthcare provider about having them wear a mask indoors in public. If they live with or will gather with someone at risk for severe illness, have them wear a mask when indoors with them. 
    • High - If your child is 2 or older, have them wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, even if they are vaccinated or are at low risk of getting seriously ill (including in K-12 schools and other community settings). 

  • Every day, watch for signs of MIS-C. Children, adolescents, or young adults should see a healthcare provider if they had COVID-19 within the last 6 weeks, have been in close contact with someone who had COVID-19 and now have ongoing fever PLUS more than one of the following: 
    • stomach pain  
    • bloodshot eyes 
    • diarrhea and/or vomiting 
    • dizziness and/or lightheadedness 
    • skin rash 

  • Go to the nearest emergency department if your child is showing any serious MIS-C warning signs such as: 
    • trouble breathing 
    • pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away 
    • confusion or unusual behavior, severe abdominal pain 
    • inability to wake or stay awake, and/or 
    • depending on skin tone, pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds 

  • When talking to healthcare providers, make sure that they know that the child recently had COVID or was exposed to COVID-19. 

How Will Doctors Care for Your Child?

Doctors may do certain tests to look for inflammation or other signs of disease. These tests might include: 

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

Doctors may provide supportive care for symptoms (medicine and/or fluids to make your child feel better) and may use various medicines to treat inflammation. Most children who become ill with MIS-C will need to be treated in the hospital. Some will need to be treated in the pediatric intensive care unit (ICU). 

Additional Resources 

Feel free to reach out to the PADOH at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) or contact your local health department for additional information. 

Date created: 6/27/2022