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Kawasaki disease is a condition that causes inflammation in the walls of medium-sized arteries throughout the body, including the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle. Kawasaki disease is also called mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome because it also affects lymph nodes, skin, and the mucous membranes inside the mouth, nose and throat. The symptoms can be severe for several days and can look scary to parents. But then most children return to normal activities. Kawasaki disease can harm the coronary arteries, which carry blood to the heart muscle. The characteristic symptoms are a high temperature that lasts for more than five days, with:
• a rash
• swollen glands in the neck
• dry, cracked lips
• red fingers or toes
• red eyes
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?
Children showing symptoms of Kawasaki Disease should be immediately admitted to the hospital and treatment should be started to avoid any damage to the heart. The normal treatment includes heavy doses of medication to treat Kawasaki Disease.
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.