Kawasaki Disease


This rare disease most commonly affects infants and young children. With it, blood vessels can become inflamed. Sometimes this inflammation affects blood vessels throughout the body. This can cause damage to the heart muscle and the heart valves.


We don't know what causes Kawasaki disease. It may be linked to a virus, bacteria, or something in the environment. Your genes may play a role, too. We don't think it's contagious.


Symptoms may include a high fever and a rash on the back, chest and abdomen. Hands and feet may swell. The lymph nodes may swell too, especially in the neck. A person who has this disease may have very red eyes, and a very red and swollen tongue. As the disease progresses, skin on the hands and feet may peel. There may be joint pain and abdominal pain. And, they may have diarrhea and vomiting. Heart damage is a possible complication of this disease.


Kawasaki disease is usually treated in the hospital. An immune protein given through an IV can help. So can aspirin. Your doctor will create a plan that's right for you.