The UK Kawasaki Disease Foundation
Kawasaki Disease is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children in the UK. It's time we changed that....
...together we will
At Societi we recognise timely diagnosis, followed by correct treatment as a transformational opportunity to prevent what can be devastating effects from Kawasaki Disease. By raising awareness of Kawasaki Disease across policy makers and funders, the medical community and the general public, Societi aims to enable children to have access to timely diagnosis, correct treatment and appropriate long term support.
There is a very good animation from the Khan Academy, aimed at nurses / junior doctors, which contains useful information about the symptoms of Kawasaki Disease - to watch the animation click here.
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 vascular disease mainly affecting young children, which if untreated can cause coronary artery damage. 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 with Kawasaki Disease are treated in hospital by specialist doctors. The medication given (intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and aspirin - often also with corticosteroids) is used with the aim of reducing fever and preventing heart damage / coronary artery aneurysms. Sometimes other drugs are used as well, in support of these three main treatment approaches.
Increasingly common, Kawasaki Disease affects hundreds of children and young people in the UK each year. Research by Societi (June 2016) shows hospital admissions for Kawasaki Disease have increased fourfold in the last ten years. Globally Kawasaki Disease is on the rise - on average incidence is doubling every ten years. No-one knows why - research is ongoing to understand the cause of the disease and explain why it is affecting more children.
At onset, Kawasaki Disease primarily affects young children with over 75% of those affected being under 5 but it can affect any age group. And because the damage it can cause can be lifelong, thousands of children, young people and adults are affected in the UK today by Kawasaki Disease.
Kawasaki Disease is often misdiagnosed or diagnosed late, sometimes because a full symptom ‘picture’ is being awaited - or simply because not enough people know about Kawasaki Disease. If you have a child - or if you are a doctor and see a child with persistent fever, and two or more of the symptoms above, please THINK Kawasaki Disease.
In between times, start a Kawasaki Conversation - makes sure friends, relatives, colleagues and your local schools are aware of Kawasaki Disease. Awareness is urgent - Kawasaki Disease is serious. Awareness will make a difference. You can make a difference. Contact us if you'd like to help raise awareness.
Kawasaki Disease presents with symptoms, many of which mirror those of other common childhood diseases. The symptoms of Kawasaski Disease can also appear in series (i.e. not all at once) over a few days.
The single defining characteristic of Kawasaki Disease is the distinctively persistent high fever, which is always present together with two or more of the symptoms shown here.
Because of the similarity of symptoms with other childhood illnesses and because Kawasaki Disease awareness is currently low, cases of Kawasaki Disease are often misdiagnosed. At Societi, we want to change that - and encourage medical practitioners to...
...THINK Kawasaki Disease!
...when children with these symptoms are seen. Timely diagnosis will IMPROVE a child's chances of a good recovery.
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impact in the fight against Kawasaki Disease. Please help if you can.
Children affected by Kawasaki Disease have vastly improved chances of a good recovery with timely diagnosis and the correct treatment.
No! Hundreds of children and young people are affected by Kawasaki disease each year in the UK - and it's the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children - it's time we changed that! Worldwide, Kawasaki Disease incidence is doubling every 10 years. We URGENTLY need parents and doctors to know the symptoms of Kawasaki Disease - and for Doctors to EXPECT to see it: be READY to treat it. For too long the association of Kawasaki Disease and ‘rare’ has hampered investment in research - but critically, this label has adversely affected prompt diagnosis - because clinicians don’t expect to see it. WE WANT TO CHANGE THAT! Why? Because research shows (BPSU Study 2013-2015) that EARLY diagnosis and treatment can improve outcomes - for our children.