"Kawasaki Disease" in easy-to-understand terms, explained by Pediatrician Dr. Kenneth Pomar Rebong
"Kawasaki Disease" usually affects young children under the age of five. In a new article, Dr. Kenneth P. Rebong explains the symptoms, treatments and precautions one can take to avoid it.
By: Dr. Kenneth Pomar Rebong
If diagnosed and treated on time, Kawasaki can be controlled and minimum impact occurs. However, if the condition is not acknowledged on time, it mostly leads to complications like heart diseases and Reye's disease, which ultimately lead to death. If treatment begins at the early stages of the disease, most of the children usually end up recovering completely. Fortunately, most children affected by Kawasaki disease recover without any complications or chronic diseases.
This condition involves problems of the mouth, skin, heart, nose throat, and lymph nodes. Kawasaki disease typically targets children under the age of five. When an adolescent is suffering from the Kawasaki disease, the blood vessels in his entire body become inflamed. This inflammation leads to coronary artery damage since blood cannot be transported to the heart as efficiently as it used to. This eventually leads to death of the patient.
The exact cause of the disease is still unknown; however, researchers claim that Kawasaki is potentially linked to genetics. Hereditary factors are also claimed to be responsible for the disease. They believe that this disease is probably related to a combination of different genetic material, viral and bacterial exposures, toxins and irritant chemicals and substances.
Symptoms of the Kawasaki disease consists of high fever of around 101 degrees Fahrenheit and above, rashes and peeling skin, redness and swelling, gland enlargement, throat irritation, "strawberry tongue," joint pain and stomach troubles. The disease, however, is not contagious.
Kawasaki disease is diagnosed by a traditional physical examination where conclusions are drawn based on the symptoms displayed. However, treatment can be quite extensive depending on the condition's progression. Early treatment can save lives.
Treatment includes administering gamma globulin (purified antibodies) via intravenous (IV) doses to help prepare the body to further fight against the infection. Other steps include high aspirin doses to lower the risk of potential heart diseases. On the other hand, precautionary measures just include a single, very vital step, which is getting regular flu jabs to prevent viral infections when aspirin doses are being administered so as to avoid Reye's disease.
Most of the children suffering from Kawasaki disease start showing improvements from the first time the treatments are provided. In order to avoid complications and fatalities, it is very important to consult a doctor as soon as any of the symptoms related to Kawasaki start to appear.
*** Dr. Kenneth P. Rebong, a medical doctor in San Jose, California, specializes in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
Dr. Kenneth Pomar Rebong
San Jose, California