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:
diarrhea and/or vomiting
dizziness and/or lightheadedness
- 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).
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