Kawasaki Syndrome

What is Kawasaki syndrome? 

Kawasaki syndrome, also known as Kawasaki disease, is an uncommon illness characterized by a high fever and rash. It most commonly affects children younger than five years of age. The cause of the illness is unknown.

Who gets Kawasaki syndrome? 

Young children, particularly under the age of five, are at highest risk. Worldwide, the illness is most commonly seen in Asia.

How is Kawasaki syndrome spread? 

It is unknown how this condition is spread. It does not appear that you can get it from another person, but there have been clusters of illness which suggests that it might be caused by an infectious agent.

What are the symptoms of Kawasaki syndrome? 

Kawasaki syndrome is characterized by fever, rash, swelling of the hands and feet, irritation and redness of the whites of the eyes, swollen lymph glands in the neck, and irritation and inflammation of the mouth, lips, and throat. Serious complications of Kawasaki syndrome include coronary artery abnormalities (heart disease).

How soon after exposure do symptoms appear? 

The time it takes for someone to develop symptoms following exposure is unknown.

How is Kawasaki syndrome diagnosed? 

A specific test for Kawasaki Syndrome is not available. Diagnosis is based on the patient’s signs and symptoms and ruling out other potential causes for the illness.

What is the treatment for Kawasaki syndrome? 

Once Kawasaki syndrome has been diagnosed, doctors can give specific treatments to help reduce the symptoms. The standard treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin and aspirin substantially decreases the development of coronary artery abnormalities. Complete recovery may take several weeks.

How can Kawasaki syndrome be prevented? 

Because the specific cause of Kawasaki syndrome is unknown, there is no known way to prevent the illness.

How can I get more information about Kawasaki syndrome? 

June 2013