Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

Children with COVID-19 often have mild symptoms. In some cases, children can become seriously ill.

There may be a link between COVID-19 and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).

MIS-C is a rare, serious inflammatory disease. The first U.S. case was reported in May 2020.

Monitoring for MIS-C

NCDHHS requests health care providers report suspected MIS-C cases. Existing surveillance systems also help us watch for possible cases.

NCDHHS' weekly surveillance summary includes information about MIS-C cases in the North Carolina. NCDHHS shares this data with the CDC to help track MIS-C nationally.

Signs and Symptoms

Children with MIS-C can become very ill. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms so you can get help right away.

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever (100.4 degrees F or 38.0 degrees C or higher temperature), lasting several days
  • Irritability or decreased activity
  • Abdominal pain without another explanation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Conjunctivitis (red or pink eyes)
  • Poor feeding
  • Red, cracked lips or red, bumpy tongue that looks like a strawberry
  • Swollen hands and feet, which might also be red

Call your child’s doctor immediately if your child has a persistent fever plus any of the above symptoms. The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and use that information to recommend next steps.

If your child is severely ill, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately.

Is MIS-C contagious?

MIS-C is not contagious. Children with these symptoms could have COVID-19 or another contagious infection.

Parents and caregivers should take precautions to prevent spread. Health care providers will use infection control precautions when treating your child.

CDC information on MIS-C related to COVID-19