Symptoms & Causes

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)?

What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome?

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, also called MIS-C, is a rare condition in which different parts of the body become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, and the digestive system. The causes of MIS-C are unknown but the condition may be linked to COVID-19. A similar condition can also develop in adults, called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or MIS-A.

Most children diagnosed with MIS-C get better with medical care, but in some cases the condition may be serious.

Signs & Symptoms of MIS-C


Signs and symptoms of MIS-C may vary from child to child, but most children with MIS-C have some of the signs and symptoms listed below. A child with MIS-C symptoms should be seen by a pediatrician for an examination and comprehensive care.

Signs and symptoms of MIS-C include:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) that lasts longer than 24 hours
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Red eyes
  • Body rash
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Emergency signs that require immediate emergency medical care include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Acting sleepy or confused
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds

What causes MIS-C?


Currently, the exact causes of MIS-C are unknown. The condition may be related to COVID-19, but more research is necessary to find the exact cause and understand why some children who have COVID-19 become ill with MIS-C, while others are unaffected.

Risk Factors

Risk Factors

MIS-C is a rare and relatively new condition that is not well understood, and more research may pinpoint the direct cause and other associated risk factors of the syndrome.

Risk factors for developing MIS-C are:

  • COVID-19 infection - The primary risk factor for MIS-C is being infected with COVID-19 (the SARS-CoV-2 virus)
  • Race and ethnic group - In the U.S., Black and Hispanic/Latino children are more likely to be diagnosed with MIS-C compared to other groups
  • Age - The average age of children with MIS-C is 8-9 years old, and most children are between the ages of 3 and 12 years old. Infants and young adults may also develop the condition.



Based on what is known about MIS-C, the best way to minimize the risk of developing MIS-C is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in children, families, and their direct contacts. The best prevention against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccine helps the body to develop protection from the virus that causes COVID-19 and significantly lowers the risk of getting very sick and possibly dying from COVID-19 and its related complications, including MIS-C and MIS-A.

Get Care

Trust NewYork-Presbyterian for MIS-C Care

Our team of pediatric specialists treat newborns through young adults with various conditions. With two children's hospital campuses, NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital, our medical groups, and additional access to care through telehealth services, we provide exceptional care to all patients.

Our pediatric rheumatology programs provide advanced, compassionate care to children with autoimmune, inflammatory, and rheumatic conditions and when critical care is needed, children benefit from the collaboration of our pediatric team with other specialty care teams.

We know that a child’s illness can impact the entire family, and we are dedicated to providing complete care. Learn more about treatment for MIS-C. Contact us to schedule an appointment.