MIS-C in Children: Symptoms and Treatment


Amidst the third wave of Covid, it was seen that children were affected this time by the virus as well. This didn’t happen at large during the last two waves. Although it can be seen that most children are coping well from the virus and have mostly a mild health inconvenience during the third wave. In April 2020 an inflammatory syndrome in children was identified by the doctors of the children’s hospitals in the United Kingdom and the United States. The condition was named MIS-C, which is an abbreviation for Multisystem inflammatory syndrome. This particular condition is also known as pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome. 

mis in children

What Is MIS C?

It is an illness which mostly affects school-age children, after they get infected with Covid-19. Although the syndrome is uncommon, it can be serious in some cases. 

It starts with an inflammatory reaction in the body of the person four weeks after they get infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus. Initial symptoms include

  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Red eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

The symptoms can get worse over a few days and the inflammation can affect organs like heart, blood vessels and various organs as well. 

All of this can make some kids very sick and in need of urgent care. Doctors are of the opinion that MIS-C gets triggered by the virus that causes Covid-19. This syndrome can occur in kids who have not had any usual symptoms of Covid like fever, cough or sore throat. It is also noted that most children who have MIS-C will also have antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This indicates that their body has been infected previously. 


In communities where children were infected with Covid-19, the number of MIS-C cases also saw a rise in about four weeks later to the Covid-19 infection. Researches and doctors are still learning about why this illness develops in children after Covid-19 but not others. 

What Are The Symptoms Of MIS-C In Children? 

You should contact your pediatrician or doctor right away if your child experiences a fever of 100.4 or more which has lasted for more than 3 or 4 days And If your kid has a persistent fever along with any of the following symptoms:

  • Red blotches, bumps or rashes
  • Abdominal pain which is worsening
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Feeling dizzy or unusually weak and has red eyes
  • If you’re child is unusually sleepy or confused. 
  • If he Has trouble breathing
  • If you’re child is complaining of pain or pressure in the chest
  • If you’re child has seizures
  • If you’re child has pale, grey or blue lips, skin or nail beds.

What Do We Know About MIS-C So Far? 

  • It can be dangerous but it is a rare complication of Covid-19 and the symptoms of it can overlap with other illnesses and infections. 
  • This syndrome usually affects school going children especially those who are between the ages of 7 to 9, but in some cases MIS-C has also been seen in young adults and Infants as well. 
  • The symptoms of MIS-C appear two to six weeks after getting infected with Covid-19, but on average it takes 4 weeks. By this time most children with MIS-C have antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • Most children who get affected with MIS-C recover fully from this illness as it is a treatable condition. There are medicines which can control the inflammation and help in avoiding lasting organ damage like that to the heart. 

Why Is It Important For A Parent To Know About MIS-C? 

Parents need to know the following points about this illness

  • This syndrome was only observed after the pandemic had begun
  • MIS-C occurred in about 1 per 3000 children those who were affected with Covid during the initial waves. 
  • Although it affects children of all ages, most commonly, it affects children in the age group of 9. The death rate of this illness was 9 per 1000 children
  • If this syndrome occurs in adults, it is known as MIS-A.
  • This illness causes inflammation in multiple organs like brain, abdomen, heart, blood vessels, kidneys or skin as well. All of this may occur within just a fever or can cause any serious illness like a long standing effect on the blood vessels of the heart. When conditions worsen and in extreme cases the heart may fail to work or multiple organ failure can occur. 
  • Parents should immediately reach out to their doctor when there is a fever that is above 38 degrees centigrade or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and has lasted longer than 24 to 72 hours. 
  • Contact your pediatrician if your child displays symptoms like neck pain or swelling, strawberry like red tongue, peeling of skin on the finger tips and extreme fatigue and abdominal pain. 
  • Remember that rashes in a child without fever do not suggest MIS-C, so make sure not to panic at every rash you see on your child’s body. 
  • Parents must stay proactive when their child displays any symptoms of MIS-C syndrome and should initiate the treatment as soon as possible for the healthy well being of their child. 


When your child displays symptoms of MIS-C, health professionals may do following tests to look for inflammation or other signs of disease. 

  • X-ray of chest
  • Blood tests
  • Echocardiogram
  • Ultrasound of abdomen

They may use various medications to treat inflammation and provide your child with supportive care such as medicine or fluids to make your kid feel better. Although most children who fall Ill with MIS-C need to be treated in a hospital, some might need to be treated in the pediatric intensive care unit.