There are two new inflammatory conditions that are occurring in adults (MIS-A) and children (MIS-C) after they have had COVID. Many times they had a mild COVID case but within weeks started developing some serious symptoms. I recently had a friend whose young son had COVID and one month later started having high fever and feeling terrible. He went to the ER and was sent home telling them he had a viral infection. He got sicker so they took him to another ER and he was diagnosed with multi-system organ inflammation. His inflammatory markers and liver enzymes were thru the roof. He was also in heart failure. Luckily, this ER knew what it was and admitted him and began the proper treatment. He is now doing much better.
Please read on so you know what to look for and can be an advocate for yourself or your child. Know what symptoms to watch for and what tests to make sure your physician is ordering…..
MIS-A affects adults and MIS-C affects children who have had COVID and many times they don’t even realize they have had it. Symptoms typically develop within 2-12 weeks and fever and heart failure seem to be very common.
Children can have a multitude of symptoms and vary by child. Please keep in mind this condition is rare so don’t panic if your child has a sniffle. Most kids that have this are between ages 3 and 12 with the average age of 8. CDC isn’t sure why some children get this and others do not. Here is a list of symptoms to watch for
- Fever that lasts 24 hours or longer
- Pain in the stomach
- Skin rash
- Feeling unusually tired
- Fast heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Red eyes
- Redness or swelling of the lips and tongue
- Redness or swelling of the hands or feet
- Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness
- Enlarged lymph nodes
Emergency warning signs of MIS-C
- Severe stomach pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds — depending on skin tone
- New confusion
- Inability to wake up or stay awake
Diagnosing this condition consists of having a positive COVID antibody test in conjunction with other inflammatory markers. If your child had COVID and are presenting with these signs/symptoms then insist they do blood work. See below for a list of important tests.
MIS-A in adults is also rare and can occur 2-12 weeks after infection. Symptoms are basically the same ones as children. High fever and heart failure again seem to be common.
Labs to diagnose these conditions include:
- C reactive protein (inflammatory marker)
- Ferritin (iron storage – this is often very elevated)
- Bun/Creatinine – kidney function
- AST/ALT – liver enzymes
- CBC – blood counts
- proBNP – heart failure marker
- plus other tests depending on symptoms including other blood work as well as chest xrays, echocardiograms, CT, etc.
Bottom line, if you have had COVID and you start having severe symptoms then go the hospital and be evaluated. Most people who have these syndromes recover and do well with treatment.
To your health,