About MIS

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and Adults (MIS-A)

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) is a rare but serious condition associated with COVID-19 in which different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. MIS can affect children (MIS-C) and adults (MIS-A).

MIS-C case definition includes people who are younger than 21 years old, and MIS-A case definition includes people who are 21 years and older.

Based on what we know now, the best way to prevent MIS-C or MIS-A is to take actions to protect yourself from getting COVID-19, including COVID-19 vaccination for people 12 and older.

MIS-C and MIS-A Signs and Symptoms

Children and adults with MIS experience:

  • A fever AND any of the following signs and symptoms:
    • Abdominal (gut) pain
    • Bloodshot eyes
    • Chest tightness/pain
    • Diarrhea
    • Feeling extra tired
    • Headache
    • Low blood pressure
    • Neck pain
    • Rash
    • Vomiting
Father Caring For Sick Son Ill In Bed With Temperature
Team of confident medical experts with protective face masks
Asian Senior man lying on sofa while his wife holding a thermometer

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When to seek Emergency Care

If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

This list does not include all possible symptoms. Please call a medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Differences between MIS-A and MIS-C

MIS-C and MIS-A are similar in many ways. However, MIS-C is more common than MIS-A. Severe outcomes might be more likely for MIS-A because of differences in the immune systems of adults compared with children, as well as the higher likelihood of underlying medical conditions in adults.

What CDC is doing about MIS

CDC has a dedicated team investigating MIS-C and MIS-A to learn more about these conditions and communicate information quickly to patients, healthcare providers, and parents and caregivers, as well as to state, local, and territorial health departments. The team is working with U.S. and international scientists, healthcare providers, and other partners to learn more about MIS. They are learning about how often it happens and who is likely to get this condition, and providing guidance to patients, parents and caregivers, and healthcare providers.

Page last reviewed: June 25, 2021