Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Adults (MIS-A)

What we know about MIS-A

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare but severe condition in children and adolescents infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Since June 2020, there have been several reports of a similar multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A). CDC published a number of cases that fit the description of MIS-A. This report shows the way the syndrome appears in adults may be more complicated than in children.

Like children, adults who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can develop symptoms of MIS-A days to weeks after getting sick. MIS-A is a condition where problems can occur in different parts of the body like the heart, gastrointestinal tract, skin, or brain.

What to do if you think you are sick with MIS-A

Contact a doctor, nurse, or clinic right away if you are showing symptoms of MIS-A:

  • Ongoing fever PLUS more than one of the following:
    • Stomach pain
    • Bloodshot eyes
    • Diarrhea
    • Dizziness or lightheadedness (signs of low blood pressure)
    • Skin rash
    • Vomiting

MIS-A can be very serious, so it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible.

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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.

What we don’t know about MIS-A

CDC is still learning about MIS-A and how it affects adults, so we do not know why some adults have gotten sick with MIS-A and others have not. We also do not know if adults with certain health conditions are more likely to develop MIS-A. These are among the many questions CDC is working to understand.

What CDC is doing about MIS-A

CDC is working with state, local, and territorial health departments; U.S. and international scientists; healthcare providers; and other partners to learn more about MIS-A. Through these partnerships, we are learning about how to recognize MIS-A in adults, how often it happens, and who is likely to get MIS-A.

All CDC recommendations are based on the best data and science available at the time, and we will update them as we learn more.

How to protect yourself from MIS-A

Based on what we know now about MIS-A, the best way you can protect yourself is by taking everyday actions to protect yourself from getting the virus that causes COVID-19.

Page last reviewed: November 13, 2020