TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — One of the lingering effects of COVID-19 is multisystem inflammatory syndrome or (MIS) since the start of the pandemic. KGUN 9 spoke to Dr. Sean Elliott, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Tucson Medical Center who says that MIS is continuing to have an impact on kids and adults who were infected with COVID-19.
"They do survive with intervention; MIS-C is probably the most feared complication in pediatrics of the pandemic. It’s the immune systems response in children and some adults. It gets out of control and is triggered by SARS coronavirus 2 and it starts to attack our own inner organs,” Elliot said.
There are two names used for the syndrome, MIS-(C) refers to cases in children and MIS-(A) refers to adults. Dr. Elliott says there is some good news, case numbers are starting to drop.
“The MIS-C’s are a very small number thankfully of children who have an overwhelming immune reaction to the virus. It typically occurs after they’ve gotten better from COVID-19 about 2 to 6 weeks later” Elliott said.
Aside from fever MIS symptoms include red eyes, diarrhea, dizziness, skin rash and vomiting. The symptoms are also starting to evolve in the stomach.
“Now the biggest appearance of MIS-C is almost like a gastroenteritis a stomach flu or in some cases an early appendicitis,” Elliott said.
According to the CDC, you can get MIS from simply being exposed to someone with COVID. It can cause inflammation in the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin and eyes.
"If the children aren't recognized they can do very poorly indeed. In fact, heart failure multi-organ failure can happen and there have been deaths. I have personally cared for between 25 and 30 children at this hospital alone,” Elliott said.
While there are still questions about the full impact of MIS, Dr. Elliot says vaccination is the best way to stay safe.
“The first 6 out of 12 months of the pandemic MIS-C looked a lot like Kawasaki’s disease which is the same concept but triggered by different viruses we think. The number of MIS cases we’ve seen in the last two months with the omicron variant has dropped significantly. So, it may be fingers crossed that we’re seeing the disappearance of this dread complication in kids with MIS-C because of omicron and vaccination,” Elliott said.