What is the Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS) Associated with COVID-19?

Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS) is a new syndrome that is being recognized in children in the US and Europe and appears to be related to a present or recent infection with the SARS CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Experts suspect that the SARS CoV-2 virus in some rare cases may trigger the immune system to overreact and cause inflammation throughout the body. It is similar to another disease in children called Kawaski Disease that can cause inflammation of blood vessels, in particular, coronary arteries that feed oxygen to the heart. Some children with PMIS are testing positive for the coronavirus and others are testing positive for antibodies to the SARS CoV-2 virus

Pediatric infectious disease experts emphasize that this is very rare and parents should not panic, but they should know the symptoms to watch for. It should also be emphasized that almost all the children reported with this syndrome have recovered. 

What are the symptoms? 

  • Fever 
  • Red eyes 
  • Skin rash 
  • Reddening or peeling of palms and soles of feet 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea 
  • Trouble breathing 
  • Confusion or overly sleepy 

How is it treated? 

  • Supportive care, including oxygen, fluids and medicine to support blood pressure 
  • IVIG (a mixture of antibodies from blood donors) 
  • Steroids 
  • Aspirin 
  • Blood thinners 

Written by Dr. Cheri Standing