Many parents are concerned about the mystery inflammatory syndrome that is being reported in the media, affecting children around the world. The jury is still out on whether this emerging syndrome is actually associated with COVID-19. Medical professionals are stressing that cases are rare, but parents can arm themselves with what knowledge is available in order to keep vigilant.

What Is the Coronavirus-Linked Syndrome in Children Called?

The Center for Disease Control is reporting that the coronavirus-linked emerging medical condition affecting children is being referred to as “Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children”, or MIS-C for short.

Cases have been connected to locations all over the world, including the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy and the United States. Of the 85 total cases reported so far in the U.S., New York State has the most at 64. The remaining 11 cases (total of 85 in the U.S.) have been reported from Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, New Jersey, Louisiana and Delaware.

The disease, which may or may not be linked to coronavirus, seems to have similarities to a disease called Kawasaki Disease and the related Kawasaki Disease Shock Syndrome.

What is important to know right now? It is that not a lot is known about Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome at the moment. Physicians, scientists, and other medical professionals are investigating the origin, cause and potential treatment for MIS-C.

What Are the Symptoms of “Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children”?

Currently, the most common symptoms of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children are being reported as:

  • High and persistent fever
  • Abdominal pains
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Swollen hands or feet

Once children are assessed by a physician or other medical professionals, some commonalities are:

  • General inflammation (as evidenced by markers in the blood)
  • Cardiac inflammation
  • Coronary artery aneurysms (rare)
  • Low blood pressure

How Is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children Being Treated in Children?

Your child may be assessed for MIS-C with tests including, but not limited to:

  • X-rays
  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasounds (Heart and Abdominal)

The treatment at present is intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy. IVIG administers an antibody-rich plasma infusion to the patient. IVIG is a therapy that is commonly used on patients that have difficulty making enough antibodies to fight infections, as is the case in people with immune deficiency. Test that may also be administered are:

Doctors are also concerned, that like Kawasaki disease, MIS-C may have the possibility of damaging the heart and blood vessels in the short and maybe even the long term. With so much unknown about coronavirus and MIS-C, physicians are monitoring cases for lingering heart issues. Dr. Jane Newburger, director of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Kawasaki Program notes that the damage done to the heart and blood vessels usually dissipate in 5 to 6 weeks.How is Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Connected to Coronavirus?

The connection of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome to coronavirus has not yet been definitively made, but there is cause to suspect that the two are linked. Most of the children exhibiting symptoms of MIS-C are testing positive for coronavirus exposure. Another link to coronavirus is that the most cases of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome have occurred in the same locations that have experienced the largest number of COVID-19 cases, namely the U.K. and New York City.

Yet another link of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome to coronavirus is that same markers of inflammation are being seen in the blood of children suspected of having MIS-C and the blood of adults*. There is speculation that MIS-C is connected to the body’s immune response to coronavirus; it may be that the antibodies that the body is making against coronavirus are what is causing the syndrome.

What Should Parents Do If They Suspect Their Child Has Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome?

Parents who are concerned that their children may be exhibiting signs of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome should know the steps to have their children screened by medical professionals:

  1. Observe if your child is exhibiting symptoms such as:
  • High and persistent fever
  • Abdominal pains
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Swollen hands or feet
  1. Contact your child’s doctor via phone or virtual contact. Based on the guidance of your doctor or qualified medical professional, proceed as directed.

Note that bringing your child to an emergency room or urgent care without contacting your physician is advised. It is advisable according to the CDC to call 911 or visit an emergency room if you observe an emergency warning sign like trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and more.

If your child does not have a primary care due to not having health insurance (or being an ‘illegal’ immigrant), you can still receive care at any hospital – you will not be turned away and you will be treated as any other patient. You can read more about How Uninsured Patients Can Get Help During COVID-19 Pandemic on

What Should Parents Do to Protect Their Children Against Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children?

At present, the Center for Disease Control suggests the best way to protect your child from MIS-C is to follow the same protocol to protect against COVID-19. These measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Proper hand washing and hygiene
  • Social distancing
  • Proper disinfecting of high-touch surfaces
  • Avoiding exposure to people at COVID-19 exposure risk
  • Avoiding or limiting time with non-household members (such as other children)
  • Avoiding non-essential travel

What Might Be Next for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children?

Emerging MIS-C in children is still largely a mystery to doctors and researchers, though there is initial evidence to suggest it may be linked to coronavirus. MIS-C is also, at present, very rare.

Many medical professionals, healthcare providers, scientists and researchers, as well as government, private and public agencies are now dedicating themselves to tracking and learning about Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome to protect and treat affected children.