What is Kawasaki disease?
Kawasaki disease causes inflammation in certain blood vessels in the body. The main symptoms are fever, and swelling and redness in the areas with inflammation. It is most common in children younger than 5 years old.
What causes Kawasaki disease?
The cause is not known. But doctors don’t think it spreads from person to person.
What are the symptoms of Kawasaki disease?
The symptoms include:
●Redness in the white part of the eye
●Cracked, red lips
●A red, swollen tongue
●A rash - The rash often starts in the genital area. It can also be on the back, chest, belly, arms, and legs.
●Swollen glands in the neck
●Swollen, red skin on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet
Is there a test for Kawasaki disease?
Your doctor or nurse should be able to tell if your child has Kawasaki disease by learning about his or her symptoms and doing an exam. But some children with Kawasaki disease need tests.
These can include:
●A blood test
●A urine test
●An ultrasound of the heart (“echocardiogram”) – This test creates pictures of the heart as it beats.
How is Kawasaki disease treated?
Treatments for Kawasaki disease include:
●Immune globulin (also called IVIG)
This treatment goes into a vein through a tube called an “IV.” This is done in a hospital over a period of 8 to 12 hours.
If your child gets IVIG, he or she might not be able to get certain vaccines (such as for measles or chicken pox) for at least a year. That’s because the vaccines might not work as well during this time to prevent disease.
Children with Kawasaki disease who don’t get treatment are at risk for heart problems. That’s because they can have swelling of the blood vessels in the heart. But only a few children have lasting heart damage from Kawasaki disease.