Kawasaki disease is a disease that mainly affects children aged between 6 months and 6 years. Each year, approximately 15 out of 100,000 preschool age children will develop it throughout Quebec. It is therefore not a common disease, but on average, a hundred children are diagnosed every year.
There are certain symptoms and clinical signs that direct the attending physician to diagnose Kawasaki disease.
First of all, affected children have a fever for several days. The fever does not go away after taking antibiotics. There is no obvious infection that could explain the fever (no otitis, no gastroenteritis, etc.). These children may also have redness in the eyes, lips that look red and cracked, a skin rash that appears during the first days of the fever, and palpable lumps (lymph nodes) in the neck. Swelling in the feet and hands may also occur.
These symptoms do not occur all at once, nor necessarily together. To make the diagnosis of Kawasaki disease, several symptoms must be present. However, it is important to discuss this with your child’s doctor. In the case of Kawasaki disease, an early diagnosis will offer the possibility of effective treatment which must be administered before the 10th day of fever.