Kawasaki disease is an illness characterized by inflammation of arteries, veins, capillaries and lymph nodes. It affects skin, mouth, throat and lymph nodes. It develops mostly in children under the age of 5 years. It affects young boys more than girls. However, it can affect anyone at any age. Hand, foot and mouth disease is also a disease of young children caused by a virus. Its symptoms include fever, skin rashes, sore throat and loss of appetite. It is also a mild disease that can be treated with medicines in 5-7 days. But both are different diseases.

Is Kawasaki Disease The Same As Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease?

Kawasaki disease is not the same as hand, foot and mouth disease. Kawasaki disease is an inflammatory disease of blood vessels that can cause skin rashes, strawberry tongue, and may more with fever. Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a viral infection that results in skin rashes, sore throat, and fever. Both diseases are diseases of children, but they are different in nature. (1)

Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki disease (KD) is an inflammatory disease of lymph nodes, arteries, veins, and capillaries. It affects the skin, linings of mouth, nose, and throat. It affects the blood vessels the most. It involves multiple organ systems of the body. This disease affects mostly children and teenagers. It is one of the leading causes of heart problems in children. This disease is not a serious disease and it can be completely cured if treated in the early stages. If it is left untreated or neglected, the disease can cause serious affections of the heart.

The cause of Kawasaki disease is not clear. It can be caused by infectious agents, genetic anomalies or environmental factors such as toxins and chemicals. It is also assumed that autoimmune reaction in the body may cause this disease. It is not a contagious disease and cannot be transmitted.

Its symptoms include a fever that may remain up to 5 days, swelling of feet and palm, rashes on the skin, red eyes, strawberry tongue, peeling of skin and abdominal problems. Its complication is that it causes heart ailments like coronary artery disease.

This disease cannot be prevented, but its symptoms can be managed successfully. Kawasaki disease is not similar to hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a viral disease that affects infants, and small children under the age of 5 years. However, it can also develop in older children and adults. It is caused by coxsackievirus and enterovirus. It begins with low-grade fever with reduced appetite and sore throat. Within one or two days of fever, painful sores appear in the mouth like small red spots and blisters. They are painful that prevent the child to feed anything even fluids.

A rash also appears on the hands and soles of the feet. This rash is flat and red in color that may become blisters. It also develops on the knees, elbows, genital area and buttocks. It is a mild type of illness that disappears in 5 to 7 days with treatment.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a contagious disease that can be transmitted through personal contact, sneezing, coughing of infected air, contaminated feces, and contaminated objects. The disease is most infectious in its first week of illness. In some cases, the patient is infectious even after the symptoms are gone. Some people catch the infection but do not develop symptoms; still, they are contagious and spread the infection.

This disease is not a severe infection and its complications are also very rare. Its complications include viral meningitis, encephalitis or a polio-like paralysis. It is also reported that it may result in fingernail or toenail loss. However, nail grows back without any medical aid.

There is no vaccine available for this disease. It can be prevented only by maintaining personal hygiene and avoiding close contact with an infected person and his belongings.

References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/about/prevention-treatment.html

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: April 17, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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