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What causes Kawasaki Disease

There are lots of theories around the cause of Kawasaki Disease and much research ongoing across the globe to try and identify its cause. But at the moment, no-one is certain of the cause.

There is some evidence to suggest that some children have a genetic predisposition to being affected by Kawasaki Disease. Some researchers believe it could be a child’s response to an infection or a number of infections although no infectious cause has been found.   There are theories too that suggest an environmental agent – perhaps something which is airborne or related to water bodies.  Whilst there is much research ongoing, some of it appears contradictory – and the patterns of incidence of Kawasaki Disease (who gets it and where) are different in different places.

In the UK, what we do know is that Kawasaki Disease is more common in children who live in rural areas – and children of black and minority ethnic backgrounds are disproportionately affected. These findings came from a recent UK and Ireland study which you can read here.