What is Kawasaki disease? A rare disease inflames a child’s blood vessels. Left untreated, can cause heart attacks, heart disease, aneurysms and sudden death. It is not hereditary or contagious and usually occurs in boys more than girls. Why am I talking about this rare disease? My 17-month old grandson is the number one reason. He was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease March 14, 2011. Secondly, I want other parents to be aware of this disease and know it is very dangerous.
My grandson developed a fever on the evening of March 10, 2011 and the next morning we took him to a local emergency room because his fever spiked to 104 degrees and had broken out into a rash on his wrists, ankles, eyelids and groin area. He also a very red throat and tongue, blood shot eyes, he was not eating, drinking and was so weak looking.
The doctor at the emergency room on March 11 did blood work, throat culture and chest x-ray. There was no sign of an ear infection or strep throat so he concluded my grandson had bronchitis and was about to go into pneumonia and was given a shot and antibiotics and sent home. By Sunday March 13, he was no better so I told my daughter the next day to take him back to the emergency room because he had not gotten better and I did not think he was diagnosed right.
The doctor on call March 14 knew what it was the second she walked into the room. It was Kawasaki disease. The doctor looked at the x-rays the previous doctor had taken and concluded he showed no signs of the diagnosis he had made. The doctor told my daughter she was glad that she bought him back to the emergency room because had she not he could have died.
My grandson was transported to UVA medical center where doctors there administered ivig (gamma globulin) and aspirin to prevent blood clots. This treatment took 12 hours and the fever stayed down for a day and returned. The doctors gave him a second dose and now we are waiting to see if the fever stays away. If it does not he will have to take another dose.
So far, his heart does not seem to be affected. This is a true blessing but he will have to be monitored. My grandson is expected to make a full recovery.
What are the signs and symptoms of Kawasaki Disease?
A high fever that will not go away and is between 102 and 104 degrees.
Red chapped or cracked lips.
Red tongue and throat.
A rash that develops on the wrists, ankles, groin or other parts of the body.
Swollen feet and hands.
The lymph nodes in the child’s neck become swollen.
Hands and soles of the feet become red and it hurts the child to walk.
If your child has any of these sign without signs of a cold please have them checked for Kawasaki disease. I want everyone to know about this so they know what to look for before something bad happens to their child. If not treated in time the heart will be in danger as well as the child’s life.
For more information on this disease, please visit, Kawasaki disease.