Kawasaki Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and How Serious Is It?

Kawasaki Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and How Serious Is It?

Tests and diagnosis

Kawasaki disease can be hard to diagnose, and its symptoms can look similar to various childhood viral and bacterial illnesses. Your doctor may diagnose your child with Kawasaki disease if both of these conditions are met:

  • Fever that lasts at least 5 days
  • Has a few symptoms related to the disease, as outlined above

If Kawasaki disease is suspected, your doctor may order an echocardiogram to monitor heart function. Blood and urine samples may be taken to rule out other conditions such as scarlet fever, measles, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or an allergic drug reaction.

Treatment

Treatment should start within 10 days of when the fever begins. Children with Kawasaki disease is treated with intravenous (IV) doses of gamma globulin (purified antibodies), which is an ingredient of blood that helps the body fight infection.

A high dose of aspirin might also be given to lower the risk of heart problems. It is important for children who has had Kawasaki disease to get their annual flu shot to prevent viral illnesses while taking aspirin.

Please consult your doctor before giving aspirin to children.

How serious is Kawasaki disease?

Children who contracted Kawasaki disease may be tired and fussy, and experience dry skin condition for a month or so. During this time, try not to let your child get overly tired and keep their fingers and toes moist by applying skin lotion.

It may take a few weeks before your child feels completely well again, but most children who have Kawasaki disease recover completely and have no long-term problems. Early treatment can help to shorten the illness and lower the chances of heart problems. Your doctor may order follow-up tests to be sure that the disease did not cause heart problems.

Some children may experience damage to the coronary arteries and may be more likely to have a heart attack as a young adult. If your child is affected, do look out for the signs and consult your doctor immediately.

 

Reviewed by Dr Herbert Tan, General Practitioner and Resident Doctor of MindChamps Medical @ OneKM.

 

For information and treatment on Kawasaki Disease and other issues on family health, book an appointment with our resident doctor at MindChamps Medical clinic now.

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