Monday, March 21, 2011

Cause, Signs and Symptoms of Kawasaki Diseases

What is Kawasaki disease? Kawasaki disease also known as Kawasaki syndrome is a condition that causes inflammation in the walls of small- and medium-sized arteries throughout the body, including the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle. Kawasaki disease is also called mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome because it also affects lymph nodes, skin, and the mucous membranes inside the mouth, nose and throat.

Signs :
High fever and peeling skin are signs of Kawasaki Disease. And the good news is that Kawasaki disease is usually treatable, and most children recover from Kawasaki disease without serious problems.

Causes :
No one knows what causes Kawasaki disease, but scientists don’t believe the disease is contagious from person to person. A number of theories link the disease to bacteria, viruses or other environmental factors, but none has been proved. Certain genes may increase your child’s susceptibility to Kawasaki disease.

Symptoms of Kawasaki disease appear in phases.

First phase
Signs and symptoms of the first phase may include:
* Fever, which often is higher than 101.3 F (38.5 C) and lasts one to two weeks
* Extremely red eyes (conjunctivitis) without a thick discharge
* A rash on the main part of the body (trunk) and in the genital area
* Red, dry, cracked lips and an extremely red, swollen tongue (“strawberry” tongue)
* Swollen, red skin on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet
* Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and perhaps elsewhere
* Irritability

Second phase
In the second phase of the disease, your child may develop:

* Peeling of the skin on the hands and feet, especially the tips of the fingers and toes, often in large sheets
* Joint pain
* Diarrhea
* Vomiting
* Abdominal pain

Third phase
In the third phase of the disease, signs and symptoms slowly go away unless complications develop. It may be as long as eight weeks before energy levels seem normal again.

When to see a doctor
If your child has a fever that lasts more than four days, contact your child’s doctor. Or, see your child’s doctor if your child has a fever along with four or more of the following signs and symptoms:

* Redness in both eyes
* A very red, swollen tongue
* Redness of the palms or soles
* Skin peeling
* A rash
* Swollen lymph nodes

Treating Kawasaki disease within 10 days of its onset may greatly reduce the chances of lasting damage.

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