Kawasaki Syndrome is a disease that causes swelling (inflammation) in the walls of medium-sized arteries throughout the body. It generally affects children and the inflammation tends to affect the coronary arteries that are responsible for the blood supply to the heart muscle.
It is a disease that also affects the glands that swell during an infection (lymph nodes), skin, and the mucous membranes inside the mouth, nose, and throat, hence, it is sometimes called mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome.
The early signs of Kawasaki syndrome include high fever and peeling skin which can be frightening; however, it is a treatable disease which is good news and most children recover from Kawasaki disease without serious problems.
Moreover, no one knows what is the exact cause of Kawasaki disease but scientists don’t believe the disease is contagious from person to person. There are many theories that link the disease to bacteria, viruses, and other environmental factors as none has been proved so far.
According to reports, certain genes may make your child more likely to get the Kawasaki disease.
Kawasaki disease (KD) is one of the commonest vasculitis in children where blood vessels throughout the body can get inflammed. A syndrome that mostly affects young ones, presents with fever which doesn’t respond to antibiotics. And is associated with rash, red eye, redness of mouth and tongue. The major worry is it’s effects on the heart. KD can cause dilatation of the coronary arteries and other cardiac complications if not diagnosed and treated on time, explained Dr. Sikha Agarwal, Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital.
Dr. Agarwal added, “Intravenous immunoglobulin and anti-inflammatory medications are the first line of treatment which in most cases leads to a rapid defervescence of fever. Kawasaki like illness also occurs in children post COVID-19 infection. There is no way to prevent KD, neither is it contagious or spreads from one to another.”
When to see a doctor
If you see your child has fever that lasts for more than three days, that’s the time when see a child’s doctor. Also, see your child’s doctor if your child has a fever along with four or more of the following signs and symptoms:
- Redness in both eyes
- A very red, swollen tongue
- Redness of the palms or soles
- Skin peeling
- A rash
- Swollen lymph nodes
Treating Kawasaki disease within 10 days of when it began may greatly reduce the chances of lasting damage.
According to published reports, three things are known to increase your child’s risk of developing Kawasaki disease.
- Age. Children under 5 years old are most at risk of Kawasaki disease.
- Sex. Boys are slightly more likely than girls are to develop Kawasaki disease.
- Ethnicity. Children of Asian or Pacific Island descent, such as Japanese or Korean, have higher rates of Kawasaki disease.