Kawasaki disease is an uncommon condition that occurs in young children, commonly aged 18-24 months. It is not a contagious disease.
A high temperature that usually lasts over 5 days is common. Symptoms of fever tend to last up to 10 days before getting better. Other symptoms might include: red eyes (conjunctivitis), red throat or tongue, dry lips, blotchy red rash, swelling or redness in the hands or feet and swollen lymph glands. Other less common symptoms include: diarrhoea, vomiting, tummy pain, joint swelling and yellow skin. There is no test to confirm the disease, however tests may be done to rule out other diseases that cause similar symptoms. A possible complication of Kawasaki disease is a heart problem caused by inflammation to the blood vessels supplying the heart (coronary arteries). This can cause swelling in that section of the artery (aneurysm). This usually goes away over time, however sometimes this can cause serious complications.
The cause is unknown. It is not a contagious disease, which means it is unlikely to be a bacterial or viral infection. There does seem to be a genetic link that can increase the risk of developing the condition.
Aspirin is given to children to help reduce the inflammation in the coronary arteries and prevent blood from clotting. Immunoglobulin can be given as a slow injection over a few hours. Immunoglobulin is an antibody that modifies the response of the immune system to prevent inflammation in the arteries. Other treatments can be used to make the child feel comfortable, such as paracetamol and drinking lots of fluid. With early treatment it is much less likely that complications develop.
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Doctify Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. In the event of an emergency, please call 999 for immediate assistance.