What is Kawasaki Disease?
Identified in 1967 in Japan by Tomisaku Kawasaki, the cause of Kawasaki Disease is still unknown. The illness presents with several symptoms common to a variety of other childhood diseases and infections and is therefore often misdiagnosed. Kawasaki Disease is a serious disease which if untreated can cause coronary artery damage.
Kawasaki Disease is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children in the UK.
Symptoms of this “Red” Disease
Kawasaki Disease is a type of vasculitis. It mainly affects young children but it can affect people of any age. It can be a serious illness as it can cause coronary artery damage – damage to the blood vessels in the heart. If treated early however, the majority of children recover well. Kawasaki Disease has a range of symptoms including a characteristic and distinctively persistent high fever for five days or more, rash, bloodshot eyes, “strawberry” tongue, cracked, dry lips, redness of the fingers and toes (sometimes skin peeling after ten days or more) and swollen glands in the neck. Kawasaki Disease can be present with some (partial) or all (full) of these symptoms.
Professor R Tulloh, Professor of Congenital Cardiology, Bristol Children’s Hospital and Societi Board Member
Children affected by Kawasaki Disease have much improved chances of a good recovery with timely diagnosis and the correct treatment.