Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Adults (MIS-A)

Updated January 3, 2023

What we know about MIS-A

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:

Girl patient with IV drip medicine attached in hospital
  • 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.

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.