Kawasaki disease, also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome, is a serious condition that is characterized by the inflammation of the blood vessels in the body. The condition typically affects children under the age of five, primarily those of Asian and Pacific Island descent. However, the disease can also develop in individuals of different ages and ethnicities.
Symptoms of this condition generally come in stages. The early symptoms may include a high fever lasting more than five days, blood shot eyes, red cracked lips, swollen strawberry red colored tongue, and rashes on the chest and genital area. Later symptoms may include peeling of the skin on the hands and feet, joint pain, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
At this time, there is not an exact test to determine if someone is experiencing Kawasaki disease. After taking a health history, in addition to other tests to exclude other conditions, a doctor can make a formal diagnosis. Unfortunately, the official cause for this condition is unknown. The disease itself is usually manageable, but without treatment can cause very serious heart conditions for the affected individual. Therefore, if you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of Kawasaki disease, speak to your doctor immediately to discuss the most current treatment options.