Kawasaki Disease: A Rare Children's Disease
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Kawasaki Disease: A Rare Children's Disease

rare diseases in young children can cause chronis issues.

Tomisaku Kawasaki, the youngest of seven children , was born in 1925 in Tokyo, Japan. After graduating from Chiba University Medical School, Kawasaki as an intern moved through different fields of medicine chose the field of  pediatrics.

The first time he saw the illness was in a 4-year-old boy in 1961. Kawasaki was unable to make a diagnosis of the unusual sickness, nor could he fine any references of it medical literature.Over the next six years saw 50 more similar cases. His research led to the the sisease being named afte him.

Kawasaki Disease is a rare children's disease primarily affecting  young children. .Kawasaki Disease is  more prevalent among children under 5 years of age of Asian and Pacific Island descent, Kawasaki disease affects people of all racial and ethnic groups. It is estimated that more than 4,200 children are diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease in the U.S. each year.

Symptoms

Kawasaki disease often begins with a high and persistent fever greater than 102 °F, often as high as 104 °F. A persistent fever lasting at least 5 days is considered a classic sign. The fever may last for up to 2 weeks

Other symptoms often include:

• Extremely bloodshot or red eyes (without pus or drainage)

• Bright red, chapped, or cracked lips

• Red mucous membranes in the mouth

• Strawberry tongue, white coating on the tongue, or prominent red bumps on the back of the tongue

• Red palms of the hands and the soles of the feet

• Swollen hands and feet

• Skin rashes on the middle of the body, NOT blister-like

• Peeling skin in the genital area, hands, and feet (especially around the nails, palms, and soles)

• Swollen lymph nodes (frequently only one lymph node is swollen), particularly in the neck area

• Joint pain and swelling, frequently on both sides of the body

• Irritability

• Diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain

• Cough and runny nose

Some children may have a fever lasting more than 5 days, but not all of the classic symptoms of the disease. These children may be diagnosed with atypical Kawasaki disease. Therefore, all children with fever lasting more than 5 days should be evaluated, with Kawasaki disease considered as a possibility. Early treatment is essential for those who do have the disease

Treatment

Children with Kawasaki disease are admitted to the hospital. Treatment must be started as soon as the diagnosis is made to prevent damage to the coronary arteries and heart.

Intravenous gamma globulin is the standard treatment. It is given in high doses. The child's condition usually greatly improves within 24 hours of treatment with IV gamma globulin.

High-dose aspirin is often given along with IV gamma globulin.

Even when they're treated with aspirin and IV gamma globulin, up to 25% of children may still develop problems in their coronary arteries. Some research has suggested that adding steroids to the usual treatment routine may improve a child's outcome, but more research is needed.

Expectations (prognosis)

With early recognition and treatment, full recovery can be expected. However, about 1% of patients die from complications of coronary blood vessel inflammation. Patients who have had Kawasaki disease should have an echocardiogram every 1 - 2 years to screen for heart problem ,.

There is no diagnostic laboratory test for KD, diagnosis relies on the observation and recognition of clinical signs that comprise the KD case definition. With the establishment of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) as an effective therapy, prompt diagnosis has become essential for timely therapy to ensure a good cardiac outcome.

Researchers have attempted to uncover the causes and origins of KD since the 1960s. . Among those who assume there is an infectious agent, disagreement continues over whether the agent is bacterial or viral and whether or not it acts as a super-antigen

For as many years, since KDs discovery, it was believed that exposure to carpet cleaning chemicals, mold and mites may be the trigger.. As of now there is still no scientific evidence of how this disease came about, except that it acts like a virus..

In the year of 2005, my daughter was 1 in 1200 described (diagnose) with KD in the United States... She was first diagnosed as having Scarlet Fever due to similar red patterning on her body. After her fourth day of having all of the symptoms, which included a high temperature of 104 °F., she was described as having KD and admitted, immediately to hospital. Her symptoms and treatment lasted for a total of 11 days with two days of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy.The side effects lasted for more than two years

 For the last 17 years Tomisaku Kawasakie has been director of the Japan Kawasaki Disease Research Center, and is guest professor at Kurume University. He lectures in America.

He has won several awards, the most recent being the first Japanese Pediatric Society Prize.

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