Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been included to the Notifiable Medical Conditions (NMC) in South Africa.
NMCs are diseases that are of public health importance because they pose significant public health risks that may result in disease outbreaks or epidemics both nationally and internationally.
What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)?
MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.
Children with MIS-C may have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal (gut) pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired. It is not known yet what causes MIS-C however, many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.
MIS-C associated with COVID-19
Although MIS-C is a rare syndrome, there are reports of MIS-C associated with COVID-19 globally, and more recently in South Africa.
With the ongoing pandemic, we expect to see more MIS-C cases over the next few months throughout the country. Widespread awareness and early recognition is crucial.
The healthcare worker responsible for the patient should notify authorities immediately of a probable or confirmed case through the Notifiable Medical Conditions Surveillance System (NMCSS).
In addition, a group of paediatricians and other experts has been established to collate and analyse data on MIS-C cases reported through the NMCSS, The data will shed light on the true burden of MIS-C in the country, and to inform decisions on the clinical and epidemiological management of this condition. We encourage all clinicians to notify these cases to the NMCSS.