Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
Kawasaki disease is an illness that causes inflammation (swelling and redness) in blood vessels throughout the body. It happens in three phases, and a lasting fever usually is the first sign.
The condition most often affects kids younger than 5 years old. When symptoms are noticed early and treated, kids with Kawasaki disease begin to feel better within a few days.
Kawasaki disease has telltale symptoms and signs that appear in phases. The first phase, which can last for up to 2 weeks, usually involves a fever that lasts for at least 5 days.
Other symptoms include:
The second phase usually begins 2 weeks after the fever started. Symptoms can include:
Doctors can treat the symptoms of Kawasaki disease when it’s caught early. Most kids will feel better within a few days of starting treatment.
If the condition isn’t found until later, patients can have serious complications that affect the heart, such as:
Doctors don’t know what causes Kawasaki disease. They believe it doesn’t spread from person to person. It’s most common among children of Japanese and Korean descent, but can affect any child.
Kawasaki disease symptoms can look similar to those of other childhood viral and bacterial illnesses. Doctors usually diagnose it by asking about the symptoms (such as a long-lasting fever) and doing an exam.
If Kawasaki disease looks likely, the doctor:
Doctors usually treat kids with Kawasaki disease by giving them:
Treatment begins as soon as possible. In some children, IVIG may not work and doctors give steroids instead. Steroids can help prevent coronary aneurysms.
It’s very important for children on high-dose aspirin to get the annual flu vaccine to help prevent this viral illness. That’s because there’s a small risk of a rare condition called Reye syndrome in children who take aspirin during a viral illness.
Most children with Kawasaki disease start to get much better after a single treatment with immune globulin, though sometimes more doses are needed.
Most kids with Kawasaki disease recover completely, especially when they are diagnosed and treated early. Some, especially those who develop heart problems from Kawasaki disease, might need more testing and to see a
(a doctor who specializes in conditions that affect the heart).
Fevers happen when the body’s internal “thermostat” raises the body temperature above normal. This is often the body’s way of fighting infections.
An arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat usually caused by an electrical “short circuit” in the heart. Many are minor and not a health threat, but some can indicate a more serious problem.
Scarlet fever is an illness caused by a strep infection. It causes a red, bumpy rash that spreads over most of the body, and is treated with antibiotics.
Inflammation is one way the body reacts to infection, injury, or other medical conditions. Many things can cause it.
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) causes inflammation throughout the body. Doctors are trying to find out how these symptoms are related to coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Reye syndrome is an extremely rare but serious illness. Cases have dropped greatly since the finding of a link between the illness and aspirin use in kids and teens.
The heart and circulatory system are our body’s lifeline, delivering blood to the body’s tissues. Brush up on your ticker with this body basics article.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.