What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)?
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or "MIS-C", is a health condition seen in children and teens under 21 years of age who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Children with MIS-C get inflammation in different parts of the body ("organ systems") up to eight weeks after being infected with SARS-CoV-2. This inflammation can occur whether the child did or did not have symptoms of COVID-19. Organ systems that can be affected by MIS-C can include: the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, and/or gastrointestinal organs. Because it is caused by SARS-CoV-2, MIS-C is a new condition that was first reported in April, 2020.
Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of MIS-C including ongoing fever and any of the below:
Emergency signs of MIS-C that require immediate medical care include:
Pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away
Inability to wake up or stay awake
Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds (depending on skin tone)
Call your child's medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. If your child needs emergency care, call 911; if going to an emergency room call ahead to your local emergency facility and notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
Not all children and teens will have all the same symptoms and sometimes these symptoms overlap with other common illnesses. Because of this, it's important to be aware of the signs of MIS-C.
Due to MIS-C's connection with COVID-19, the best way to prevent MIS-C is to take everyday actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including vaccination of all eligible members in your household. Click here for more information on how to protect your children and families against COVID-19.
MIS-C Cases, California
MIS-C case reporting and abstraction may be delayed due to limited capacity at local health departments and as CDPH assesses data to ensure patients meet the MIS-C case definition. Surveillance data are preliminary and subject to change.
CDPH data was last updated 10/18/2021. Data is updated the first and third Monday of each month. Starting in Novmeber 2021, data will be updated on the second and fourth Monday of each month.
MIS-C Cases in California by Week of Onset
There was a total of 660 reported MIS-C cases in California from March 23, 2020 when tracking began to October 18, 2021. Because MIS-C case numbers tend to rise around three to eight weeks following a surge in COVID-19 cases, recent increases in COVID-19 in the community may not yet be reflected in MIS-C case numbers.
Download the MIS-C Cases in California by Week of Onset (Excel).
MIS-C Disease Severity
While overall mortality from MIS-C remains low in California (under 1%) the disease can be severe. Approximately half of children with MIS-C in California were admitted to the ICU.
MIS-C Demographic and Disease Severity Highlights, California & United States
|Median Age||8 years||9 years|
|Sex||Male (60.3%)||Male (60.1%)|
MIS-C Cases by Race/Ethnicity
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander||<1.0%||<1.0%||<1.0%|
*California MIS-C Data last updated by CDPH on 10/18/2021