Kawasaki’s is a very rare disease with no specific tests used to diagnose. More people need to become aware of the symptoms in order to protect their children from heart disease.
In the U.S - after congenital heart defects, Kawasaki disease and acute rheumatic fever are the leading cause of heart disease in children. Kawasaki’s is a disease that is generally diagnosed in winter or early spring. It is suspected to be caused by an unknown virus. There is a rumor that having your carpets cleaned creates the virus for Kawasaki’s. There is no evidence to substantiate this or has it ever been proven.
There is nothing anyone can do to prevent Kawasaki’s. Even though it effects a certain ethnic group of people more frequently; Japanese and Korean, all children are at risk of contracting the disease. My daughter was 2 years old when contracted Kawasaki’s disease. She was the first case diagnosed in Neenah in March 2007. The highest per child incidence occurs in Japan; 175 out of 100,000 children develop this disease. In the United States, 19 out of every 100,000 kids will be affected by Kawasaki’s.
A child with Kawasaki Disease will be irritable and cranky. At this stage they may be misdiagnosed with an earache or general cold. They probably won’t eat during this phase and dehydration can be a problem. The parents usually have a feeling that something is “just not right.” Antibiotics may be given, but will be of no help.
The red eyes, swollen tongue and red lips are tell tale signs of Kawasaki’s. But not very many people, including doctors, are aware of these signs as an indicator of Kawasaki’s. Because it is so rare, people are not very informed. The child could face danger if not diagnosed quickly.
The child will be very uncomfortable and lethargic. They have no appetite and their body aches. The rash is red, dry and will itch. It is generally worse in the groin area.
The rash on the feet and hands make it very hard for the child to walk. The swelling can be painful. Could be misdiagnosed as Scarlet Fever at this stage.
Phase 2 starts about 2 weeks after fever has started. There should have been a positive diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease by this point. There are no standardized tests to diagnosis Kawasaki’s, other than qualifying the child with 4 out of 5 symptoms associated with the disease. That is why it is so important for doctors to familiarize themselves with these symptoms when presented together. The quicker the disease has been diagnosed, the less chance of lasting heart effects.Along with the hands and feet peeling, my daughter also had her scalp peel. The rashes and the skin peeling, after we were discharged from the hospital, were almost as bad as being in the hospital with the disease itself.
Kawasaki’s can be easily misdiagnosed as one of these other diseases. That is why it is so important to know the symptoms and how they work together to confirm a diagnosis in the early stages. If treated incorrectly, lasting heart problems may occur.
After Kawasaki’s has been confirmed, Aspirin therapy is given to reduce blood clots. This is the only time a child should take aspirin, because of its association with Reye’s syndrome. However, when my daughter had Kawasaki’s, she tested positive for Influenza at the same time, so aspirin therapy was not even a choice for her.The Gamma Globulin is given to decrease heart problems. If given within the first 10 days of the Kawasaki’s symptoms presenting themselves, it is a very successful treatment.After being in the hospital for a few days, the child will have a series of EKG tests to determine if there is fluid around the heart or if any aneurysms have occurred. These tests may be given periodically for the next few months or even years if a problem has been detected.
Children that have had Kawasaki’s need to take extra precautious and live a heart healthy lifestyle. Eating right and exercising regularly will keep their weight at a manageable level and reduce stress on their heart. If any type of heart disease is suspected, an EKG is recommended to see the extent of the damage on the heart. Further medical treatment may be necessary.Clicking on the YouTube link will show you an animation of what could happen to the heart during Kawasaki disease.
This is my daughter Teagan, age 2 at the Neenah Children’s Hospital. This is after the Gamma gobulintreatment has started to work. Notice how red her lips are and the rash around them. The three links I have provided on this page, gave me a lot of information for my presentation. Please visit them to learn more and acquaint yourself with the Kawasaki symptoms, it could save a child. Thank you.
Kawasaki Disease Diagnosis is the Key Presented by Chara Hall
Also known as Kawasaki syndrome Mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome Involves the skin, mouth, and lymph nodes Inflammation of the blood vessels Main cause of acquired heart disease in kids No known cause Virus suspected – not contagious 2 What is Kawasaki Disease?
80% of children are under age 5 Most common in Asian boys 2000 - 4200 cases each year in United States 10 day “window” to diagnosis Heart problem occurrences increase after 10 days Estimated 80% fully recover 1 % will die from Kawasaki disease 3 Who is at Risk?
Phase 1 – Lasts2 Weeks 104° temperature for 5 days Red eyes Sore throat Swollen lymph nodes 4
PossibleLongTermEffects Aneurysm in the coronary arteries Can lead to Coronary heart disease Early heart attacks Heart rhythm problems Inflammation of the heart 11 YouTube - Kawasaki Disease - Animated Heart
Kawasaki Disease Foundation MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia American Heart Association 12 To learn more