Kawasaki disease is one of the heated topics right now in the world. After the doctors had changed their approach to children with a little-understood illness, following overseas reports that Covid-19 may be associated with the rare condition.
In this article, you will read:
- What is Kawasaki disease?
- Symptoms of Kawasaki disease
- Treatment of Kawasaki disease
What is Kawasaki Disease?
Kawasaki disease is an acute, self-limited vasculitis of unknown cause that has a striking predilection for the coronary arteries of infants and young children. First described in Japan in 1967 by Tomisaku Kawasaki, the disease now is known to occur in the Americas, Europe, and Asia in children of all races.
It was probably confused with diseases such as measles before the advent of vaccines and antibiotics.
Symptoms of Kawasaki disease
Symptoms of Kawasaki generally has three phases
- A fever that is often is higher than 102.2 F (39 C) and lasts more than three days
- Extremely red eyes without a thick discharge
- A rash on the main part of the body and in the genital area
- Red, dry, cracked lips and an extremely red, swollen tongue
- Swollen, red skin on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and perhaps elsewhere
- Peeling of the skin on the hands and feet, especially the tips of the fingers and toes, often in large sheets
- Joint pain
- Abdominal pain
In the third phase of the disease, signs and symptoms slowly go away unless complications develop. It may be as long as eight weeks before energy levels seem normal again.
Treatment for Kawasaki disease
To reduce the risk of complications, your child’s doctor will want to begin treatment for Kawasaki disease as soon as possible, preferably while your child still has a fever. The goals of initial treatment are to lower fever and inflammation and prevent heart damage.
Treatment for Kawasaki disease may include:
- Gamma globulin. Infusion of an immune protein (gamma globulin) through a vein (intravenously) can lower the risk of coronary artery problems.
- Aspirin. High doses of aspirin may help treat inflammation. Aspirin can also decrease pain and joint inflammation, as well as reduce the fever. Kawasaki treatment is a rare exception to the rule that says aspirin shouldn’t be given to children. Aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, in children recovering from chickenpox or flu. Children should be given aspirin only under the supervision of a doctor.
Because of the risk of serious complications, initial treatment for Kawasaki usually is given in a hospital.
Health officials in the U.K. are warning that Covid-19 could be causing a new and rare inflammatory condition in children. Many of the children with the new inflammatory disease, likened to Kawasaki disease and sepsis, had been diagnosed with Covid-19. However, doctors have noted that the condition is incredibly rare.