Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Adults (MIS-A)
Updated January 3, 2023
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) is a rare but severe condition initially recognized in children and adolescents (MIS-C) infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Like in children, adults who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 can develop MIS (MIS-A) days to weeks after getting sick with COVID-19. MIS-A is a condition where inflammation occurs in different internal and external body parts like the heart, gastrointestinal tract, skin, or brain. MIS-A is less common than MIS-C. Compared with MIS-C, MIS-A can also be more difficult to distinguish from acute COVID-19. However, like children with MIS-C, adults with MIS-A appear to recover quickly from the most dangerous heart-related complications.
CDC is still learning about MIS-A and how it affects adults, so we don’t know why some adults have gotten sick with MIS-A and others have not. We also don’t know if particular variants of SARS-CoV-2 are more likely to cause MIS-A, or if adults with certain health conditions are more likely to get MIS-A. These are among the many questions CDC is working to try to understand.
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.
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.
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
- Dizziness or lightheadedness (signs of low blood pressure)
- Skin rash
MIS-A can be very serious, so it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible.
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.