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Mis-A (Multisymptom Inflammatory Syndrome in Adults)

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 1, 2023.

What is multisymptom inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A)?

MIS-A is a group of symptoms that develops as a complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Inflammation develops in areas such as your heart, digestive system, skin, or brain. MIS-A may develop days or weeks after you were infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. You can develop MIS-A even if you did not know you were infected. MIS-A is a serious health problem that needs immediate care.

What are the signs and symptoms of MIS-A?

You may have any of the following:

  • A fever
  • Very low blood pressure
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Neck pain
  • A skin rash or bloodshot eyes (whites of the eyes are reddish)
  • Chest pain or a tight feeling in your chest
  • Being more tired than usual

How is MIS-A diagnosed?

  • Blood tests may show antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies mean you were infected, even if a viral test shows you are not currently infected.
  • X-rays or an ultrasound may show signs of inflammation in one or more organs.

How is MIS-A treated?

MIS-A usually needs to be treated in the hospital. You may be given extra fluid. Medicines may be given to reduce inflammation or other symptoms. You may need to stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) if MIS-A becomes severe.

  • Medicines may be used to reduce inflammation, prevent blood clots, or treat or prevent a bacterial infection.
  • Liquids may be given if you are dehydrated.
  • Oxygen may be needed if the level in your blood is too low.

How can I care for myself when I get home from treatment?

  • Rest as needed. You may feel tired or have less energy for a while. Your healthcare provider will tell you when it is okay to drive and return to work or your other daily activities. Start slowly and do more as your energy improves.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Liquids help prevent dehydration. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
  • Help prevent COVID-19. You may be able to pass the virus to others or become infected again. You may need to isolate for a few weeks. Wear a face covering (mask) when you are within 6 feet (2 meters) of anyone. Wash your hands often throughout the day. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough, or use the bend of your arm. Get a COVID-19 vaccine. This is a shot given in 1 or 2 doses to prevent infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Your provider can give you information on these and other ways to prevent COVID-19.
    Prevent COVID-19 Infection

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone call if:

  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You have severe chest pain.
  • You are confused.
  • You cannot be woken, or you have trouble staying awake during the day.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • Your lips or nails are pale or look blue.
  • You have severe pain in your stomach.

When should I call my doctor?

  • You have new or worsening symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.