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MIS-C: About

Checking numbers on a thermometer from a sick child.

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare, but serious condition that sometimes affects children who were previously diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19.

MIS-C is a new condition and medical experts are still learning why some children who had or were exposed to COVID-19 develop it, and others do not.

MIS-C generally appears within two to six weeks after having COVID-19. It is possible that the child or their caregivers may not know they had COVID-19 or were in contact with someone who had COVID-19. This is why it is possible for a child to develop MIS-C even if they never tested positive for COVID-19.

If your child is experiencing ongoing fever with one or more of the following symptoms, contact your child's health care provider immediately:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Blood shot eyes
  • Tiredness
  • Rash
  • Vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Diarrhea

If your child is showing any emergency warning signs including trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away, new confusion, inability to wake up or stay awake, bluish lips or face, or severe abdominal pain, call 911 or go to the emergency room.

The best thing you can do to prevent MIS-C is to protect your child against COVID-19:

  • Get your child vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask when recommended.
  • Practice physical distancing.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Get tested for COVID-19.
  • Seek COVID-19 treatments if your child is at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Studies have reported that children diagnosed with MIS-C may experience long-term COVID-19 symptoms. The most common symptoms include fatigue, headache, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, muscle and joint pain, and cough. Medical providers are still learning about the long-term effects that MIS-C and COVID-19 can have on children.

Talk with your child’s school if they have any long-term symptoms affecting their ability to concentrate or perform in school activities. They may be able to offer extra time to complete assignments, rest periods during the day, or a modified schedule to help your child. Reach out to their health care provider to learn about other helpful accommodations.

When someone is diagnosed with MIS-C, they must be hospitalized in order to get proper medical care and some may have to be admitted to intensive care units.

Health care providers provide disease-specific treatments as appropriate, in accordance with The American Academy of Pediatrics published clinical guidance on MIS-C.

As of November 2021, there has been only one documented case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A) in Wisconsin. However, since June 2020, there have been several case reports nationally.

Visit CDC's (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) page on MIS-A for more information.

Questions about MIS-C? Contact us!
Phone: 608-267-9003 | Fax: 608-261-4976

Last revised July 19, 2023