(Kawasaki Syndrome; Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome)
DefinitionKawasaki disease is an illness that affects young children. It causes irritation and swelling of the skin, mouth, and lymph nodes. More serious illness can also lead to swelling in the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen to the heart. The swelling can cause serious heart problems like a weakening of blood vessel walls ( aneurysm ) and heart attack.
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
CausesThe cause of Kawasaki disease is unknown. Some believe it is an infectious agent like a virus. However, Kawasaki does not seem to be contagious. It does not spread through households like the flu.
Risk FactorsKawasaki disease is most common in children less than five year old. It is rare in adults. Children of Asian ethnicity also seem to be more likely to get Kawasaki disease.Outbreaks of the disease are more common during the winter and early spring months.
SymptomsEarly symptoms in the first 2 weeks may include:
- High fever—lasting for at least 5 days and usually greater than 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.8 degrees Celsius)
- Red or bloodshot whites of the eyes due to conjunctivitis
- Soreness and swelling of the mouth, lips, and throat
- Strawberry tongue—white/yellow coating and bright red bumps on tongue
- Swollen hands and feet that may look red
- Swollen lymph nodes (organs of the immune system) in the neck
- Peeling of skin on hands and feet
- Joint problems
- Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
More from Beliefnet
A systematic review found that participants given chewing gum after abdominal surgery may have a faster return to normal for their digestive system. Unfortunately, the quality of trials is low and more research will need to be done before this simple solution is confirmed.
Early Peanut Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Peanut Allergy in High Risk Children
Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children