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Kawasaki Syndrome

What is Kawasaki Syndrome? What causes it, and what are its symptoms?

Kawasaki Syndrome

Kawasaki Syndrome is a disease, whose cause is still unknown, and affects children under 5 years of age. Tomisaku Kawasaki was the one who described it for the first time in Japan in 1967.

This condition causes inflammation in the walls of the blood vessels that transport blood through our body. It also causes inflammation in the coronary arteries that are responsible for supplying oxygenated blood to the heart.

Scientists haven't found the exact cause yet, but it could be related to genes, viruses, bacteria, or chemicals and irritants. They are even currently linking Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS), something similar to Kawasaki, with COVID-19, but the CDC, in the United States, is still under investigation.

What are the symptoms of Kawasaki Syndrome?

This condition manifests itself quickly and arrives in phases. For the child to be diagnosed, they must present at least 4 of the symptoms of the first phase:

  • Fever greater than 39 °C (102.2 °F) for five days or more

  • Rash on chest, legs, groin and genital area

  • Redness and swelling of the feet and hands

  • Red eyes

  • Enlargement of one of the lymph nodes in the neck

  • Sore, red lips and throat

In the second phase, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Joint and abdominal pain

  • Stomach problems such as diarrhea and vomiting

  • Peeling of skin on fingers and toes

If your child has a high fever for five or more days and less than four symptoms, it is important that you go to your Pediatrician, that phase is known as Kawasaki in the incomplete phase and if your child is treated after the next ten days she or he could suffer injury to the coronary arteries.

Kawasaki Syndrome can have symptoms similar to those of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children that occurred in children with COVID-19, so it is best to test to rule out and ensure treatment.

The symptoms usually last up to 8 weeks, but if they are treated within the first five days, the condition is fully controlled.

How is Kawasaki Syndrome diagnosed?

In addition to the initial assessment by your Pediatrician, studies such as:


Timely treatment is the solution, so go to a Pediatrician as soon as possible, who will be able to provide you with all the information and assessment that your child deserves.

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