Kawasaki disease was first described and formulated by Tomisaku Kawasaki in 1967. He recognized a specific group of children having high temperature, skin rash, red throat, lips and conjunctivitis all at once, which was a good hint that this is, in fact, a single condition. Afterwards, aneurism was also added to the bunch, presenting the most significant symptom of Kawasaki disease. This is a very rare disease, affecting mostly children about 5 years of age. It’s also slightly more common in boys, manifesting itself in late winter or early spring. Japanese children seem to have the highest tendency towards this condition.
Kawasaki disease is often caused by genetic predispositions, on top of other causes such as bacterial or viral infections. Reduced power of the immunological system as well as hypersensitivity caused by whichever reason possible have also proven to have a significant effect on cause of this condition. The disease is not contagious and it is impossible to prevent it. However, it is possible for one to develop immunity after recovery.
The disease starts with sudden high body temperatures which will remain active for more than 5 days. The child also makes a shift in behavior, being nervous, irritable with a tendency to cry a lot. The high temperature is usually mistaken to be caused by conjunctivitis, and the child may get a whole set of different skin rashes. Small red spots over the body and legs are usually common, with more than 50% of patients coming with enlarged lymph nodes which are reaching into the 1.5 centimeters size.
Not all children will show identical symptoms, so the disease does carry a bit of individual symptoms. Some of the patients will experience heart issues caused by aneurism which is the most dangerous symptom of this condition which needs to be closely monitored. Aneurism can happen in about 2 out of 100 cases of this condition.
Also, some children don’t even show any symptoms until it is well into its development cycle so it’s difficult to diagnose the condition in time.
The child needs to be put in a hospital as soon as possible to be monitored, mostly due to the possibility of heart aneurism development. This needs to be treated as soon as the diagnosis has been established. A typical treatment begins with Aspirin therapies as well as intravenous substances injected into the blood stream to prevent aneurism. Aspirin is provided as long as the high body temperature lasts and can be used in high dosages. It will also remove any symptoms of the inflammation and acute symptoms of the disease.
After the treatment is done, the child needs to be monitored for a couple of weeks to come until all of the tests return to their normal values. Children are observed by rheumatologists and cardiologists, during the three phases of the disease – the acute phase, sub-acute phase and the recovery phase.
There aren’t any other known methods of treatment to this point.