Dr. Campbell

COVID-19: Highest Incidence of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Black and Latino Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Angela P. Campbell, MD, MPH
Medical Officer
Epidemiology and Prevention Branch in the Influenza Division
MIS-C Incidence Authorship Group

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

  • Response: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a serious condition associated with COVID-19 where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, and 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. Not all children with MIS-C have the same symptoms.
  • It is still not known exactly how MIS-C may be linked to prior COVID-19 infection. However, 99% of cases in the CDC national surveillance system tested positive for COVID-19. The remaining 1% were around someone with COVID-19.
  • MIS-C incidence might vary by certain patient characteristics, such as such as race, ethnicity, age, sex and geographic location.
  • In this study we estimated the rate of MIS-C cases overall in the general population as well as the rate of MIS-C cases among those with COVID-19.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

  • Overall incidence per million person-months of MIS-C during the study period in the 7 jurisdictions reporting MIS-C cases was 5.1 cases.
    • The highest incidence was seen among Black/African American children and Hispanic/Latino children.
    • Compared with non-Hispanic White children, incidence was 9 times higher among Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino children and 3 times higher among Asian/Pacific Islander children.
    • There were no significant differences by sex.
    • Incidence was highest among children under the age of 16.
  • Overall incidence of MIS-C in the 7 jurisdictions was 316 cases per million COVID-19 infections.
    • Compared with White children, incidence was higher among Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander children.
    • There were no significant differences by sex.
    • Compared to children under age 5, incidence was higher among children 6–10 years and lower among children 11–20 years.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: MIS-C is a rare but serious complication associated with COVID-19. Both estimates of the rate of MIS-C cases overall in the general population as well as the rate of MIS-C cases among those with COVID-19 were higher among children from racial and ethnic minority groups. Further study is needed to understand the causes of the differences among different races/ethnicities and age groups.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Since mid-May 2020, CDC has been tracking reports of MIS-C. As of March 2021, 66% of cases reported have occurred in Hispanic/Latino or non-Hispanic Black children. Hispanic/Latino and Non-Hispanic Black populations are also disproportionately affected by COVID-19 overall. Further research is needed and is ongoing as our understanding of MIS-C continues to evolve, to answer questions such as why certain racial or ethnic groups may be affected in greater numbers and what may contribute to disproportionate impact.


Payne AB, Gilani Z, Godfred-Cato S, et al. Incidence of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children Among US Persons Infected With SARS-CoV-2. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(6):e2116420. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.16420 



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Last Updated on June 11, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD