Experts describe types of rashes associated with MIS-C

CHOP experts describe types of rashes associated with MIS-C

In April 2020, pediatricians began recognizing a puzzling syndrome in children involving hyperinflammation that results in an array of symptoms, including fever, gastrointestinal distress and rash. The syndrome, thought to be a post-infectious complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection, was given the name Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Children, or MIS-C. However, diagnosing the condition has posed challenges, as many of its symptoms, including rash, are common in many other pediatric infections.

In a study published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) describe the array of rashes seen in MIS-C patients at their hospital through late July 2020, providing photos and information that could help doctors diagnose future cases.

“We hope the information provided in this research letter will help general pediatricians and emergency department physicians who may wonder if a patient with a fever requires a more extensive examination,” said Audrey Odom John, MD, Ph.D., Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at CHOP and senior author of the paper. “Given that some rashes associated with MIS-C are distinctive, we also imagine these images could help many parents who are looking for signs that their child needs prompt evaluation.”

The research team analyzed the MIS-C-associated rashes of seven patients seen at CHOP. Although the researchers did not observe a single, defining rash associated with COVID-19, there were several types of rashes that were common in these patients, both in appearance and location.

In terms of rash location, all patients in the study developed a rash on their lower body, and five of the seven patients had a rash on their inner thighs. Rashes on the chest and upper extremities were also common, occurring in four out of seven patients.

More than half of the patients presented with small-to-medium annular plaques, which look like dime-size circles, on their chest and back. More than half of the patients in the study also developed purpura, tiny red spots, often in the center of the dime-like annular plaques.

While some patients did develop a cherry-red rash on the bottoms of their feet and palms of their hands, this sort of rash was seen in less than half of the patients in the study. Rashes on the face were uncommon, and the rashes rarely itched.

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Pediatric coronavirus patient in Los Angeles dies from MIS-C, hospital says

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A pediatric patient in Los Angeles County has died after suffering from the coronavirus-linked multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), marking the first such death in the county since the pandemic began. 

Prior to his or her death, the child was a patient at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which has treated a total of 32 patients with MIS-C to date, a spokesperson for the hospital told Fox News in an emailed statement. 

MIS-C is a condition that often causes different parts of the body to become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. (iStock)

While 31 patients have been “successfully treated and discharged,” one patient “with a complex pre-existing cardiac condition passed away due to complications tied to MIS-C,” the spokesperson said. 

“With COVID-19 numbers at critical levels, it’s crucial that families exercise caution and remain vigilant. If parents think that their child has MIS-C, it’s important that they contact their child’s doctor or pediatrician immediately.” 


No other details were provided due to patient privacy. 

An estimated 145 cases of MIS-C have been reported in the state, the Los Angeles Times reported, adding that 43 children —  including the 32 at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles — have been treated for the condition in LA County alone. 

MIS-C is a condition that often causes different parts of the body to become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Symptoms of the condition often include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes and fatigue. 


While doctors do not know what exactly causes MIS-C at this time, many children who develop it “had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19,” per the CDC. 

The condition has primarily affected children since the pandemic began, but adults can be affected, too. 

In October, a CDC report identified the condition among adults, what the federal agency described as MIS-A or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults. 

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