Nashville hospital sees cases of rare, mysterious condition in children associated with COVID-19


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Doctors at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt are warning parents about Multi-Inflammatory Syndrome or MIS-C. It’s a condition that causes different body parts to become inflamed. While rare, five children have been treated at the children’s hospital since mid-July.

Dr. Sophie Katz, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital explains, “The average age is about 8 years old for children who get MIS-C, and the range that’s been reported is infancy up to 20 years old.”

The CDC isn’t sure what causes MIS-C, however many of the children with the condition either had COVID-19, or were around someone infected. “It happens about 2-4 weeks after the initial infection from COVID,” said Dr. Katz.

The problem, most children with COVID-19 are asymptomatic so parents may not be aware they should be looking for the following symptoms.

  • Fever
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Neck Pain
  • Rash
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Feeling extra tired

Call your pediatrician if your child has any of those symptoms.

“You can have changes to your lips. They can become red, and your tongue can become red, and hands and feet can be swollen and red,” said Katz.

She also says it’s a slow process. Symptoms appear one after another, not all at once. “It’s kinda like your body’s immune system is fighting off the COVID, but then it starts to go a little haywire and it starts to cause these other symptoms.”

If your child has the following symptoms seek emergency care:

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

Most children diagnosed with MIS-C recover with medical care, but early detection is key.

“Knowing the signs and symptoms and keeping them in the back of your mind is important,” said Dr. Katz.

The best way to prevent MIS-C is to prevent COVID-19 infection in the first place – so that means practicing social distancing, masking, and good handwashing.

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