What you need to know about multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)

Caring For Our Kids

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Hospitals across the country are reporting an increase in multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, also known as MIS-C. The COVID-19-related illness is also on the rise in Tennessee. Dr. Ryan Redman, ER director at Children’s Hospital, answers our questions.

Have you guys seen an increase in patients with MIS-C at Children’s Hospital?

Yes, with the increase of COVID-19 cases in the community, we also saw an increase in multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children.

Since the pandemic began, the state has confirmed nine cases of MIS-C in our patients, and we are awaiting confirmation of several more cases that we believe meet the criteria for the illness. A couple of our cases were serious, requiring treatment in the PICU. But it’s still a rare condition when you think of the large number of cases of COVID-19 in the community.

What exactly is MIS-C?

It’s a complication some children develop after they have had COVID-19, which results in inflammation of different parts of the body including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and other organs. In some cases, children with symptoms of MIS-C, never exhibited typical COVID-19 symptoms and their parents weren’t even aware they were sick.


Be aware that not all children have all the same symptoms.

  • Fever usually lasting 24 hours or more
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Rash
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Tiredness (more than normal)

When should we bring a child to the emergency room?

Any of the symptoms mentioned should be evaluated by your child’s doctor. The following are reasons to come to the ER:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest that won’t go away
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Severe abdominal pain

What don’t we know still?

The Centers for Disease Control is still learning about MIS-C and the connection with COVID-19. We still don’t know why some children have gotten sick with MIS-C and others haven’t. It is important to note that most children who have become ill with COVID-19, have recovered well from the illness.

For more information follow these links:

COVID-19 and Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

CDC: Health Department-Reported Cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children in the U.S.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter