Kawasaki disease is a disease of children that involve blood vessels. It was first noticed by Tomisaku Kawasaki in the year 1967. However, it existed for a long time. It is more common in children under the age of 5 years. Its causes are not clear. Its symptoms are high fever, skin rashes, swelling in the mouth, lips, and throat, strawberry tongue and many more. It is a mild disease, but it can cause problems in the heart. It can be treated and its complications can be prevented by the measures discussed further in the article.
Is There An Alternative Treatment For Kawasaki Disease?
There is no proven alternative treatment for kawasaki disease. After the disease is treated with medicines, it becomes necessary to monitor the effects of the disease on the heart. The children who are older than 6 months are given long term low dose of aspirin. It is also recommended that the child must be given a yearly dose of flu vaccine. It is necessary because if the child catches flu or chicken pox, then the dose of aspirin is replaced by medicine dipyridamole to avoid Reye’s syndrome which is characterized by swelling and inflammation of brain and liver. The children who have a history of Kawasaki disease must follow a healthy diet and lifestyle to prevent the risk of heart diseases in the future. The heart should also be monitored by echocardiogram six weeks after the treatment of disease and then every year to check for complications. (1)
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. This disease affects mostly children and teenagers. It is one of the leading causes of heart problems in children. It 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 the autoimmune reaction in the body may cause this disease. It is not a contagious disease and cannot be transmitted.
Kawasaki Disease Symptoms
The symptoms of Kawasaki disease appear at the end of late winter and start of the spring season. In some Asian countries, it may affect the population in the middle of the summer season.
The early stage of Kawasaki disease may end in two weeks. Its symptoms include
- Fever that may remain for five or more days
- Swelling of lips
- The appearance of rashes on the torso and groin
- Bloodshot eyes
- Strawberry tongue
- Swelling in hands, feet and lymph nodes
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 the diagnosis to prevent heart complications. The child is hospitalized and the treatment is initiated aiming at the reduction of fever and inflammation.
The medicines that are prescribed for KD are-
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 is an inflammatory disease of blood vessels of unknown origin. It can lead to heart complications in the future. To avoid such complications, yearly flu vaccine, long term administration of aspirin and lifestyle and diet modification is recommended as alternative treatment.
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- How Did My Child Get Kawasaki Disease?