5 Things to Understand About Kawasaki Disease #A2ZChallenge

In most viral disease, the fever subsides and the illness resolves within 5-7 days. But what if the fever does not subside and lasts for more than 7 days?

Have you ever heard of Kawasaki Disease? Well, it is an illness which involves the mouth, lymph nodes and the skin of children who are 5 and younger. Though the cause of the disease is not known, it is believed that earlier the symptoms are recognised the better it is for children.

In India, most of the cases of Kawasaki Disease are either misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. This is simply due to the lack of awareness regarding the illness. Often symptoms of Kawasaki Disease are confused with measles. If left untreated it can lead to serious complications like the inflammation of the blood vessels. This, in turn, affects the coronary artery (the artery which supplies blood to the heart).

Here are 5 things that we must know about Kawasaki Disease:

1. Kawasaki Disease is one of the causes of acquired heart disease in children

In children, most of the times heart disease is congenital meaning present since birth. However, it is possible that they can acquire heart disease later in childhood. Kawasaki disease is one of the leading causes of the same since it affects young children.

2. The exact cause of Kawasaki Disease is not known

Even after exhaustive research of almost 40 years, the cause of Kawasaki Disease is a total mystery.  It is often suspected to be caused by viral, fungal and bacterial superantigens. It was first found in Japan by Dr Tomisaku Kawasaki. In Japan, it has a high endemic rate of 150 per 100, 000 children who are under 5 years of age.

3. Diagnosis is made by observing its symptoms

There is no test for Kawasaki disease and the diagnosis is made on the symptoms. The disease starts with the onset of fever for a minimum of 5 days and more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Along with the fever, other symptoms are also taken into consideration. A simple acronym “CRASH and burn” is used to remember the symptoms.

  • C – Conjunctivitis: Redness of the eyes
  • R – Rash: On the chest, genitals and stomach. It may be red but not itchy
  • A – Adenopathy: Swollen lymph nodes
  • S – Strawberry Tongue: The tongue is red and swollen with little bumps which give it an appearance of a strawberry. Also, cracked, dry, swollen and red lips may be seen.
  • H – Hand’s and Feet: The palms of the hands and soles of the feet are swollen with a distinct purple-red colour. Two weeks later the skin starts peeling.
  • BURN: This is the fever that is very high. Almost 103 -104 degrees Fahrenheit and lasts for 5-7 days.
Source: Positive Parenting

4. All the symptoms do not happen together

It is not necessary for all the symptoms to show up at the same time. In some children, the fever and other symptoms may be present while in others just two or three symptoms would be present with fever. Rather than the symptoms showing up together, they occur in series. Kawasaki disease is only given a nod after 5-10 days with symptoms and a high fever.

Source: Dailystar.net

5. Immediate treatment can improve the outcome

Since Kawasaki Disease is an inflammatory condition, it often leads to the inflammation of the arteries. But the good news is that if it is diagnosed early and treated then only 25% of children will have coronary artery involvement. The only bet being that the treatment should start within 10 days. This decreases the likelihood of arteries being affected by 5%.

The treatment of Kawasaki Disease involves intrauterine doses of gamma globulin along with aspirin to lower the risk of heart problems. Also, it is important for the child to take their annual flu shots for the prevention of viral illnesses while taking aspirin.

Also Read:

Theme Reveal, A – Autism, B – Bronchiolitis, C – Celiac Disease, D – Dyslexia, E – Eating Disorders, F – Fever, G – GERD, H – Hand Foot And Mouth Disease (HFMD), I – Imaginary Friends, J – Juvenile Arthritis

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Shubhra Rastogi Written by:

Well, about me I can say that I am a certified dentist, healthcare analyst, medical writer and above all a mother of a 6-year-old. Most of my day to day activities revolve around her and she is my inspiration to start this blog. As a mother, I experimented with a lot of new things for my little one in a quest to find the best for her. I just want to share my experiences of being a happy and content mum.

21 Comments

  1. Priyanka Nair
    April 12, 2019
    Reply

    Every time you surprise me with new facts and information, being a mother of a toddler it is very useful to know about such diseases. Thanks

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 12, 2019
      Reply

      Yes absolutely!

  2. April 12, 2019
    Reply

    A completely new thing that I got to learn today. Thank you so much. Being a mother, I will make sure I spread some awareness.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 12, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks Darshana

  3. April 12, 2019
    Reply

    I have heard of the disease but I did not know the details. And it sounds to be a pretty dreadful disease. And the chances of not getting diagnosed quickly also seem to be high with so many symptoms not occurring at the same time. And acquiring heart problems is also frightening.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 12, 2019
      Reply

      Yes, it is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Thanks for visiting by!

  4. April 12, 2019
    Reply

    Of late, I have started sharing your posts with my doctor husband. You are doing a great job of spreading awareness.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 12, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, Sonia. This means a lot to me!

  5. abhijit
    April 12, 2019
    Reply

    An important post. One must know of these rare diseases. I don’t know how well doctors keep them abreast with latest information in India, more so in small towns. If diagnosed early, Kawasaki disease is treatable. But one must know what he is looking at.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 12, 2019
      Reply

      Yes, indeed and the eyes only see what the brain knows.

  6. Rob Swanson
    April 12, 2019
    Reply

    That’s what my wife called my desire for a motorcycle, but this is just sad. Childhood diseases are heartbreaking.
    Will you be doing Legg Purthies soon?

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 12, 2019
      Reply

      Yes, Rob childhood diseases can be really heartbreaking. No, I won’t be doing Legg–Perthes. Have another post scheduled for L. Though thanks for the suggestion.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 12, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, Vidya!

  7. April 13, 2019
    Reply

    My god, there are so many diseases in this world which I’m not aware of! At least now I’m getting to know them one by one from your posts.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 14, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks for reading…

  8. April 13, 2019
    Reply

    CRASH and Burn, that’s how I will remember Kawasaki Disease. Glad to know that with timely intervention, it can be treated., Thanks for an informative post, Shubhra!

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 14, 2019
      Reply

      Yes timely intervention can be really helpful. Thanks for visiting by.

  9. Shubhra Rastogi
    April 14, 2019
    Reply

    Thanks for visiting by. Sure shall visit your page.

  10. May 24, 2019
    Reply

    I didn’t know about these diseases. thank you for spreading awareness

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