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Kawasaki Disease Signs and Symptoms

Kawasaki disease is a form of vasculitis, which is an autoimmune disorder that affects the blood vessels.  Kawasaki syndrome is seen most often in children under age five.  It affects many organs, but its most deleterious effect is on the heart, where it can cause severe coronary artery aneurisms.  If left untreated, it can result in a mortality rate of 1 percent.  If treated, the mortality rate is 0.01 percent in the U.S. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of Kawasaki disease below.

The Signs and Symptoms of Kawasaki Disease are as follows:

  • A high and persistent fever that is not responsive to fever-reducing medications
  • Red eyes
  • Redness of the mouth
  • Redness and swelling or cracking of the lips
  • Red colored “strawberry” tongue
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Rashes on the trunk
  • Peeling skin on the hands and feet
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Joint pain

Diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease

There is no specific medical test for Kawasaki syndrome; a diagnosis is made based on medical symptoms.  Typically, a diagnosis must meet the following criteria:

  • Five days of fever

Plus four out of five of these criteria:

  • Bright red, chapped or cracked lips
  • Rash on the trunk
  • Swelling of the hands or feet
  • Swollen lymph nodes, typically on one side of the neck
  • Red eyes

The symptoms of Kawasaki disease are often mistaken for other disorders.  It can be difficult to establish a diagnosis, especially in the first weeks of symptoms.

Books for Children and People With Signs and Symptoms of Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki Disease – A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References
ICON Health Publications
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Revisited (Birkhäuser Advances in Infectious Diseases) by Stefan Wirth (Jun 28, 2007)

Kawasaki Disease Resources

General Patient Resources

  • American Family Physician

Leading article on Kawasaki disease.

  • Kawasaki Disease Foundation

The Kawasaki Disease Foundation is partnership of parents, patients, and professionals dedicated to advancing Kawasaki Disease issues.

  • The Kawasaki Disease Forum

Provides an open forum to discuss Kawasaki Disease and related matters.

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatment of this rare condition affecting young children.

  • Medicine Net . com

Articles, questions and answers, treatments, find a pediatrician in your town

  • Pub Med Health

Discusses causes, incidence, risk factors, prognosis, complications and prevention.