Mystery coronavirus-related syndrome seen in kids has a new name

The new coronavirus-related condition detected in dozens of New York City kids will be called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, going forward — as doctors across the country work together to find out more about the mystery illness, the mayor said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the disease, which the city has been calling pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or PMIS, will be referred to by the new name in line with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

“What we’ve been calling and health department defined it with a simple phrase, and it’s not a short phrase, but it captures what we’ve seen, pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, PIMS,” de Blasio said Monday at a press conference.

But then federal health officials came out Friday with new guidance about the illness, referring to it by its new name.

“It is important what they are calling this new reality,” said de Blasio, adding the city will use MIS-C to be consistent with federal officials.

“They’ve released a standard national definition so the whole country can share information, common definition and we can all work together to understand how to fight this back.”

Under the new guidance, the inflammatory disease was described as having symptoms that include persistent fever, irritability or sluggishness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting, rash, red or pink eyes, enlarged lymph node gland on one side of the neck, red cracked lips or red tongue, and swollen hands and feet.

The CDC confirmed there’s a link between COVID-19 and the new syndrome, saying the inflammatory condition can come weeks after a child had been infected with the virus.

“The child may have been asymptomatically infected and, in some cases, the child and their caregivers may not even know they had been infected,” officials said.

The Big Apple has logged at least 145 cases under the now-outdated PMIS definition — but updated figures will be released after reviewing cases based on the new federal criteria, de Blasio said.

“The health department is now taking the CDC’s definition and applying it back over the last few weeks to see what it tells us about the cases we have seen so far,” de Blasio said.


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