What are the Symptoms of Kawasaki Disease?

What are the Symptoms of Kawasaki Disease?

Kawasaki disease, also known as Kawasaki syndrome, is a rare but serious condition that primarily affects children, particularly those under the age of 5. It is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the walls of blood vessels throughout the body. The symptoms of Kawasaki disease can develop in phases and may include:

  1. Fever:
    • High and persistent fever, usually lasting for at least five days or more.
  2. Rash:
    • A characteristic rash often appearing in the later stages of the illness. It’s usually a widespread, flat or raised red rash, particularly on the trunk, limbs, and sometimes in the genital area.
  3. Red, Cracked Lips and Strawberry Tongue:
    • Inflamed, red, and often cracked lips. The tongue may become red and swollen, resembling a “strawberry.”
  4. Swelling and Redness of the Hands and Feet:
    • Swelling and redness of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, sometimes with peeling skin.
  5. Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye):
    • Inflammation and redness of the whites of the eyes (conjunctiva), often without discharge.
  6. Swollen Lymph Nodes:
    • Enlarged lymph nodes, usually in the neck, which can be tender to the touch.
  7. Skin Peeling:
    • Peeling of the skin, particularly on the fingertips, toes, and the groin area, typically beginning 2-3 weeks after the onset of the illness.
  8. Joint Pain and Swelling:
    • Joint pain and swelling, often affecting multiple joints, particularly the larger ones like knees and ankles.
  9. Irritability and Behavioral Changes:
    • Increased irritability, mood changes, and generally feeling unwell.
  10. Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea, and Vomiting:
    • Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or other digestive issues.
  11. Inflamed Lining of the Mouth and Throat:
    • Inflammation of the mouth and throat, causing redness and discomfort.

It’s important to note that not all children with Kawasaki disease will have all of these symptoms, and the presentation may vary from person to person. Additionally, Kawasaki disease is a serious condition and can lead to complications such as coronary artery aneurysms, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

If you suspect your child may have Kawasaki disease or is displaying symptoms consistent with the condition, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Early diagnosis and treatment can significantly reduce the risk of complications and improve outcomes for children with Kawasaki disease.

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