Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS), first identified in April 2020, shares features of both Kawasaki disease (KD) and toxic shock syndrome (TSS). The surveillance describes the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of PIMS-TS in the United Kingdom and Ireland.


Public Health England initiated prospective national surveillance of PIMS-TS through the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit. Paediatricians were contacted monthly to report PIMS-TS, KD and TSS cases electronically and complete a detailed clinical questionnaire. Cases with symptom onset between 01 March and 15 June 2020 were included.


There were 216 cases with features of PIMS-TS alone, 13 with features of both PIMS-TS and KD, 28 with features of PIMS-TS and TSS and 11 with features of PIMS-TS, KD and TSS, with differences in age, ethnicity, clinical presentation and disease severity between the phenotypic groups. There was a strong geographical and temporal association between SARS-CoV-2 infection rates and PIMS-TS cases. Of those tested, 14.8% (39/264) children had a positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR, and 63.6% (75/118) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. In total 44·0% (118/268) required intensive care, which was more common in cases with a TSS phenotype. Three of five children with cardiac arrest had TSS phenotype. Three children (1·1%) died.


The strong association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and PIMS-TS emphasises the importance of maintaining low community infection rates to reduce the risk of this rare but severe complication in children and adolescents. Close follow-up will be important to monitor long-term complications in children with PIMS-TS.

Cite as

Flood, J., Shingleton, J., Bennett, E., Walker, B., Amin-Chowdhury, Z., Oligbu, G., Avis, J., Lynn, R., Davis, P., Bharucha, T., Pain, C., Jyothish, D., Whittaker, E., Dwarakanathan, B., Wood, R., Williams, C., Swann, O., Semple, M., Ramsay, M., Jones, C., Ramanan, A., Gent, N. & Ladhani, S. 2021, 'Paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS): Prospective, national surveillance, United Kingdom and Ireland, 2020', The Lancet Regional Health Europe, 3, article no: 100075. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanepe.2021.100075

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Last updated: 26 October 2023
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