Funding Heart Health for the Children of the World
What is Kawasaki Disease?
Kawasaki Disease is an inflammatory disease affecting infants and young children between the ages of 4 months and 5 years old. Symptoms of this disease include spiking fever, rash, swollen lymph nodes, redness and swelling of the tongue, lips, and eyelids, along with swelling, redness, and peeling of the hands and feet.
Who is at risk for Kawasaki Disease?
The average Kawasaki Disease patient is a 2 year old male of Asian descent. Regardless of the child's exposure to Asian cuisine or culture, children of Asian descent living anywhere in the world are at the highest risk. The highest incidence rate is in Japan, with 1 in 150 children being diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease by the age of 10.
What are the risks of Kawasaki Disease?
If Kawasaki Disease remains untreated, heart damage can occur as early as one week after onset of the disease. Heart inflammation and aneurysms occur, along with an abnormal immune response characterized by Kawasaki Disease which damages the artery wall. This damage creates a space for platelets to gather and form blood clots which enlarges the artery and restricts blood flow. This increases the child's chance of having a heart attack.
How is Kawasaki Disease treated?
Intravenous immune globulin (IvIg) is given in one of two ways. The first way is a large dose of 2 grams per kilogram of body weight over a 12 hour time period. The second way is four smaller doses of 400 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. The coupling of IvIg and high aspirin doses work very effectively to treat Kawasaki Disease.