A condition that produces many scary symptoms in children is Kawasaki Disease. This condition gained it’s name from the physician who discovered it. With this condition, the walls of small and medium arteries throughout the body become inflamed. This can include the coronary arteries. Often, the lymph nodes, mucus membranes, and skin are affected as well. There is no known cause of the condition; however, it is believed to be contagious. Signs of this condition generally include high fever and peeling skin. While the condition is serious, it is usually treatable and will not result in serious complications.
Symptoms of Kawasaki Disease
Symptoms of Kawasaki Disease appear in three stages. During the first stage of Kawasaki Disease, symptoms often take the form of a fever that lasts for up to two weeks. The eyes are likely to become extremely red and a rash can appear on the trunk of the body and genital area. Other symptoms of the first stage include dry, cracked, and red lips. The tongue can become extremely red and swollen. The skin of the palms and soles of the feet are known to become swollen with bumps as well. The lymph nodes are also likely to swell.
During the second stage, symptoms of Kawasaki Disease generally progress to include peeling of the skin. Joint pain and abdominal pain are common during the second stage, as well as vomiting. Diarrhea is another common symptom that develops during the second stage.
The third stage of Kawasaki Disease is generally mild. Symptoms usually begin to subside. However, if the condition is severe other complications can develop.
Risk Factor for Kawasaki Disease
While Kawasaki Disease can affect all children, certain children have an increased risk for developing the condition. Boys are more susceptible to acquire the condition than girls. Children with an Asian decent have a higher risk of developing the condition as well. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 have an increased risk for developing Kawasaki Disease.
Treatment for Kawasaki Disease
While there usually aren’t long lasting complications from this disease; rarely, the condition can progress to include serious complications. The heart muscle can become inflamed. The valves of the heart can begin to develop complications. Heart arrhythmia is known to occur as well. The blood vessels can become severely inflamed.
With the possibility of these serious complications it’s important to have the condition properly diagnosed and treated. Diagnosing the condition is done by a physician through laboratory testing. Testing often includes blood and urine tests. Other procedures that can be conducted include electrocardiograms and echocardiograms.
Treatment for Kawasaki Disease is fairly simple. After a proper diagnosis is preformed Gamma Globulin will often be used. This is an infusion of the immune protein gamma globulin. This is generally administered through an IV. Aspirin is also given to prevent blood clots. It will also decrease pain and inflammation.
“Kawasaki Disease” MayoClinic.com
“Kawasaki Disease” KidsHealth.org
“Kawasaki Disease” AmericanHeart.org