Kawasaki Disease – Causes and Symptoms of Kawasaki Disease
Kawasaki disease is an illness that affects only children below 5 years. It affects the mucous membranes of mouth, throat, nose and lymph nodes. It is also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome and is one of the leading cause of acquired heart diseases in children. The causes of the disease are unknown. Early diagnosis and treatment of the disease cannot lead to serious complications. In case if it untreated, heart complications could arise.
It is estimated that in the United States, about 19 out of every 100,000 children are affected. It is common in children of Korean and Japanese races and can occur in almost all ethnic groups. Children below the age 5 are mostly affected and above the age 8 are rarely affected.
Causes of Kawasaki Disease
The actual cause of Kawasaki disease is unknown. Some scientists believe that it may be caused due to some viruses, bacteria and environmental factors. These are only assumptions but are not proved. Even there is an other assumption that genes also influence child’s sensitivity to develop Kawasaki disease.
Risk Factors of Kawasaki Disease
The following factors increase the risk of Kawasaki disease:
- Ethnicity – Asian descents such as Chinese, Korean and Japanese races are at greater risk to develop the disease.
- Sex – Boys are at greater risk to develop the disease than girls.
- Age – Children of ages 2 to 5 are at risk.
Symptoms of Kawasaki Disease
Symptoms of Kawasaki disease vary according to stages. The signs and symptoms at each stage include:
- Swollen lymph-nodes in the neck
- Red and swollen skin on the palms of hands and soles of feet
- Swollen tongue and cracked, dry lips
- Rashes on the main body and genital regions
- Conjunctivitis without thick discharge
- Fever that lasts for 2 weeks.
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
- Peeling of the skin especially on the tips of fingers and toes
Signs and symptoms subside slowly and if untreated leads to complications
When to Seek a Medical Professional
Take your child to a medical professional if the child experiences the signs and symptoms of Kawasaki disease mentioned above. Even consult the doctor if the child has fever that remains for 2 weeks and more. An early diagnosis and treatment decreases the chance of any further complications.