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Health expert says CDC data suggests MIS-C is less common with Omicron variant compared to prior COVID strains

With the Omicron wave diminishing, is a spike in MIS-C coming? 01:57

NEW YORK - Now that the Omicron COVID wave seems to be diminishing, there's potentially another concern for parents.

That's the delayed inflammatory response that strikes some children at about this time after a surge.

As if a never-before-seen virus causing all manner of strange symptoms throughout the body wasn't enough, a few weeks after a coronavirus surge, children started coming down with a mysterious condition that came to be known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C for short.

"MIS-C can really present in children of all ages, but most commonly, we see it in children ages 5-11," said Dr. Jennifer Lighter, with NYU Langone Health. "It usually occurs about three to four weeks after a child has a mild COVID infection."


As CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reports, while some cases are mild, there are some that present serious enough to require hospitalization. Lighter, a pediatric immunologist, says parents should watch for more than one organ system being involved.

"Most children have fever for a few days, and then they'll have another sign or symptom, so maybe they'll have diarrhea or a rash, a swollen mouth. It's possible the feet and hands could get swollen," Lighter said.

The good news is that almost every child recovers completely from MIS-C. Better yet, unlike previous coronavirus variant surges, like Delta, there have been very few cases of MIS-C reported after the Omicron surge.

"I really have not yet seen reports of an increased spike in MIS-C. Actually, the data on the CDC website suggests it is less common than prior strains of COVID," Lighter said.


Finally, it's clear that the COVID vaccine prevents the disease as well as MIS-C, so have your child vaccinated as soon as they become eligible for the shot.  

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