Kawasaki Disease - Symptoms

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What are the usual symptoms and signs of Kawasaki's disease?

The usual symptoms and signs of Kawasaki's disease include

  • fever,
  • reddening of the eyes without pus,
  • cracked and inflamed lips and mucous membranes of the mouth with an inflamed "strawberry" tongue,
  • ulcerative gum disease (gingivitis),
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck (cervical lymphadenopathy),
  • joint pain often on both sides of the body,
  • irritability,
  • cough and runny nose,
  • and a rash that is raised and bright red, especially on the palms and soles.

The rash appears in a glove-and-sock fashion over the skin of the hands and feet. The rash becomes hard, swollen (edematous), and then peels off.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Amanda, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 27

My nephew was diagnosed with Kawasaki's disease shortly after his 7th birthday in 2012. I recall him staying home from school on his birthday because he had what we thought was a cold. He was taken to the children's hospital and at first he was sent home with a diagnosis of the flu. At the time he was taken to the hospital, he had a fever around 105 if I recall correctly. I remember visiting him at the hospital, where I saw that his skin was peeling on his hands. He was in the hospital for at least a couple of weeks and treated with immunoglobulin. Even then, he had to stay home from school for a month to make sure that he was healthy enough, and had to have his heart checked out on a few occasions. I believe they said that his heart was slightly enlarged as well, when he was sick.

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Comment from: Ellen, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 17

My son, who is nine, had myalgia for two weeks and the doctors did not know the cause, some thinking it was "post viral syndrome" a recurrence of symptoms from fifth disease that he had had two months earlier. In the third week he spiked a fever and was diagnosed with strep. He did not respond to antibiotics and on the third day of fever he developed a rash. The doctors kept saying the rash was from the strep but to me it looked different. I finally gave up on the pediatricians and took my son to a pediatric neurologist. He thought it was Stevens-Johnson, an acute allergic reaction to the antibiotics. When he saw us a day later, and saw that my son was getting worse, he sent us to the emergency room (a children's hospital) where, thank goodness, he was diagnosed with Kawasaki. He had all of the symptoms except for peeling fingers, which he now has (one week later). He was treated with IVIG (Intravenous immunoglobulin) and his symptoms subsided, although his fever returned after a few hours. We thought the treatment failed, but the fever subsided, and two days later we were released from the hospital. He is still very weak, although getting better every day. His fingers are continuing to peel and on his elbows, as well. He is taking aspirin, and we have a follow up with a pediatric cardiologist in a couple of weeks. It is startling to me how close we came to a tragedy; he was diagnosed on day 7 of the Kawasaki and treated on day 8.

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