- Kawasaki's disease is a syndrome of unknown cause that mainly strikes young children.
- Signs of the disease include fever and redness of the eyes, hands, feet, mouth, and tongue.
- The disease can be treated with high doses of aspirin (salicylic acid) and gammaglobulin.
- Kawasaki's disease usually resolves on its own within a month or two.
- Some children with Kawasaki's disease suffer damage to the coronary arteries.
What is Kawasaki's disease, and how is it diagnosed
Kawasaki's disease is an uncommon illness in children that is characterized by high fever of at least five days' duration together with at least four of the following five findings:
- Inflammation with reddening of the whites of the eyes (conjunctivitis) without pus.
- Redness or swelling of the hands or feet, or generalized skin peeling.
- Lymph node swelling in the neck.
- Cracking, inflamed lips or throat, or red "strawberry" tongue
The above criteria are used to make a diagnosis of Kawasaki's disease. The terminology "incomplete Kawasaki's disease" is sometimes used for patients with only some features of classical Kawasaki's disease. Most patients are under 5 years of age.