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Kawasaki disease is a rare childhood condition that affects the coronary blood vessels of the body that carry oxygen to the heart. The disease is most common in children as young as 1 to 2 year olds but it may also occur in children over 8 year old. The symptoms of the condition range from fever that lasts for over 5 days with red eyes, body rashes, swollen or red lips and tongue or swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
HOW IS KAWASAKI DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease does not have a specific protocol, the aim is to rule out other diseases. General physicians may order for urine and blood tests for ruling out other diseases. Electrocardiogram and echocardiogram help diagnose the heart’s condition.
HOW IS KAWASAKI DISEASE TREATED?
Treatment should start as soon as possible, ideally within 10 days of when the fever begins. Usually, a child is treated with intravenous (IV) doses of gamma globulin. A child also might be given a high dose of aspirin to lower the risk of heart problems. Most kids recover completely, but some (especially those who develop heart problems after Kawasaki disease) might need need further testing and treatments with a cardiologist.
DID YOU KNOW?
Up to 5% of children with Kawasaki disease experience complications with their heart. Complications can be fatal in about 1% of cases. Because of this, the condition has become the leading cause of acquired heart disease where the heart's blood supply is blocked or interrupted.