KAWASAKI DISEASE

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Last Updated : 1/12/2010
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Dr. Ira Shah
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What is Kawasaki’s disease?
Kawasaki disease is an illness of childhood that leads to fever, rash and heart disease in children without any specific cause. This disease is more common in the Japanese American population.

How does Kawasaki's disease spread?
There is no scientific reason available at present for this disease, but multiple theories exist. It is postulated that it can occur post infections, or due to an immune system abnormality.

What are the symptoms of Kawasaki's disease?
Children present with fever, rash all over the body, pain in neck, red eye (conjunctivitis), strawberry coloured tongue, red lips, enlarged neck glands and sometimes even pain in joints. Untreated and unchecked it may lead to heart disease involving the coronaries making these children prone to early heart attacks in early adulthood.

How is diagnosis of Kawasaki's disease made?
At present there is no specific laboratory test for diagnosis of Kawasaki disease. Most of the time its diagnosis is based on clinical based symptoms and variation in blood tests. Blood tests may show a high platelet count, high ESR and high C-reactive protein. Heart sonography in form of echo may be done and that may show increase in size of coronary vessels.

What should you do if you have a child with fever?
If your child is getting fever with uneasiness since five days and not responding, you must contact your family pediatrician for early management.

What is the treatment of Kawasaki disease?
Early treatment in Kawasaki's disease is essential. Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) may be given to bring down fever and prevent heart disease. Aspirin may be given for a long time to prevent formation of clot in coronary artery and prevent heart attacks. A child with Kawasaki's disease may need to be monitored with regular heart scans to check for reversibility of changes and also to see if the lesions are worsening.

How can Kawasaki disease be prevented?
There is no specific method by which Kawasaki's disease can be prevented.

Are there any vaccines to prevent Kawasaki disease?
There is no vaccine to prevent Kawasaki disease.



Contributor Information and Disclosures Dr. Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India


First Created : 1/9/2001
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