Kawasaki disease is a rare disease of children that affect blood vessels, lymph nodes, and mucous membrane. It usually develops in children of Asian race, especially Japanese and Chinese descent. It affects mostly children who are under the age of 5 years. It affects children in late winter and early spring season. Its exact causes are not known. Its symptoms include high fever, strawberry tongue, swollen lips, and many others. Children recover fast from the disease with treatment without any significant complication. There is no way to prevent this disease and its complications.

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How Is Kawasaki Disease Prevented?

There is no known prevention for Kawasaki disease. There is no vaccine available for this disease. As its exact is not known, parents should know that the disease cannot be avoided. The best way of prevention in children who have developed Kawasaki disease is the quick treatment of the symptoms. (1)

Only a few cases nearly 3-5% of patients of Kawasaki disease may develop heart complications that may serious outcomes. So, it is recommended to receive echocardiogram in every one to two years to screen out heart problems. It may help in the prevention of serious complications of Kawasaki disease and manage them in time.

Kawasaki disease is an inflammatory disease of children. It causes inflammation of the lymph nodes, mucous membrane, and walls of blood vessels. It develops in young children under the age of 5 years. However, it may affect older children, teenagers, and adults. It affects males more than females. It can also damage blood vessels of the heart that may cause serious heart ailments in the future.

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Kawasaki disease was first explored by Tomisaku Kawasaki in the year 1967. However, the disease was present for a long time. It is one of the main causes of heart ailments in children.

Kawasaki Disease Treatment

The treatment of Kawasaki disease is started soon after the symptoms appear. It is started even if the child has a fever soon after its diagnosis to prevent heart complications. The medicines that are prescribed for KD are-

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Aspirin- high doses of aspirin is preferred in the beginning to control inflammation. It reduces fever, pain, and inflammation in the joints. The doses of aspirin are given to children only in Kawasaki Disease. It should be given under the supervision of a pediatrician.

Gamma Globulin- an immune protein (gamma globulin) is infused intravenously to lower down the chances of coronary artery diseases.

Kawasaki Disease Causes

It is not known how Kawasaki disease is caused. This disease occurs mostly as localized outbreaks in the late winter or early spring season. It is not considered a contagious disease. It is supposed that this disease appears due to an infectious agent like a virus or bacteria or environmental factors like irritants or chemicals. However, no bacteria or virus is identified until today. This disorder may appear due to the activity of abnormal immune system in our body. The siblings of the affected child develop this disease.

Kawasaki Disease Symptoms

Its symptoms develop in three phases:

Phase 1- It lasts for one or two weeks. Its symptoms include high fever (38-40C), skin rashes, swelling in the feet and hands, strawberry tongue, red swollen eyes, swollen lips, and swollen lymph nodes.

Phase 2- This phase remains for 2-4 weeks. Its symptoms include pain in the abdomen, lethargy, jaundice, peeling of skin in sheets, diarrhea, vomiting, swollen joints, headache, and pus in the urine.

Phase 3- It is the phase when the patient recovers from the disease and lasts up to 6 weeks. It is also named as a convalescent-phase in which the patient is still tired and deprived of energy.

Conclusion

Kawasaki disease is a rare disease of children that can cause heart problems. This disease is a self-limited condition and it may be sometimes fatal and life-threatening. It cannot be prevented but can be managed efficiently with medicines. Regular monitoring of the heart every one or two years can help to prevent heart ailments and heart attacks.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6374576/

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 17, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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