Kawasaki disease

What is Kawasaki syndrome?

Kawasaki syndrome is a serious rash illness of children. It is a relatively rare disease; 3,000-3,500 cases are estimated to occur each year in the United States.

Who gets Kawasaki syndrome?

Most cases occur in infants and children under age five.

How is Kawasaki syndrome spread?

Little is known about the way a person gets this syndrome or how it spreads. It does not appear to be transmitted from person to person. Since outbreaks occur, it may be caused by an infectious agent.

What are the symptoms of Kawasaki syndrome?

Most cases have a high spiking fever that does not respond to antibiotics. The fever lasts more than five days and is associated with irritability, swollen lymph nodes, red eyes, lips, throat and tongue. The rash may cover the entire body and is sometimes followed by a peeling of the skin on the hands and fingers.

Does past infection make a person immune?

Recurrences have been reported but they are extremely rare.

What is the treatment for Kawasaki syndrome?

Most patients are treated in the hospital where they can be closely watched. Aspirin and immunoglobulins are often prescribed.

What are the complications associated with Kawasaki syndrome?

The most frequent complication is coronary artery aneurysms (ballooning out of blood vessels in the heart). Other organs may be involved as well. Less than 1 percent of patients with Kawasaki syndrome die of the disease and its complications.

How can Kawasaki syndrome be prevented?

At the present time, preventive measures are unknown.



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