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What is Kawasaki Disease?

When Dr Alex, Daphne’s pediatrician, told me that Kawasaki is the opposite of Dengue and that to treat it would need confinement, that alone scared the hell out of me!

In Dengue, the blood platelets decrease.  In Kawasaki, the blood platelets shoot up!

So upon getting home, I immediately looked up Kawasaki on the net.  Turns out it’s a disease which was named after a Japanese doctor who discovered it, Dr Tomisaku Kawasaki!

Kawasaki disease usually affects children below 5 years of age. Experts still don’t know what causes the disease. But it’s a disease which involves the mouth, the tongue, the hands, the feet and the skin. If left untreated, it may cause severe heart problems to a child.

Fortunately, when recognized and treated early, children diagnosed with this disease can fully recover in a matter of days.

I read from KidsHealth that the symptoms of the Kawasaki Disease come in several phases.  The first phase which lasts for 3 – 5 days usually involves the following:

  • fever that comes and go, as high as 39 degrees celsius or 104 degrees fahrenheit
  • redness in the eyes
  • swollen palms of the hands and soles of the feet
  • very red rashes on hands and feet
  • strawberry tongue / tongue with goosebumps like dots
  • red, dry and cracked lips
  • sore throat
All these symptoms Daphne had, that’s why I was so scared! I can’t wait to see the results of her CBC that night!
Of course, with all these symptoms the child has, the child would be extremely uncomfortable.  He wouldn’t even want to eat.
The second phase would begin within 2 weeks of when the fever first started.  And the symptoms would be more severe:
  • fever is still persistent
  • peeling of the hands and feet
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  •  abdominal or joint pain
Experts advise to call the doctor when experiencing these symptoms.  But I suggest that even on first phase, you go see the doctor to prevent any damage.
Because once the heart is affected, it would be a long journey of treatments and medications.

Please read my next post – Treating Kawasaki Disease – to learn how to treat KD!


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