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What is Kawasaki Syndrome?
Kawasaki Syndrome is a febrile illness of greater than or equal to 5 days' duration, with at least four of the five following physical findings and no other more reasonable explanation of the observed clinical findings:
- Bilateral conjunctival injection (red eyes)
- Oral changes: erythema (redness) of the lips and oropharynx, strawberry tongue, and red, cracked lips
- Peripheral extremity changes: edema (swelling), erythema, and generalized or periungual (around the fingernail and toenail beds) peeling and redness
- Cervical lymphadenopathy (at least one lymph node greater than or equal to 1.5 cm in diameter)
Who gets Kawasaki Syndrome?
Children under five years of age are most commonly affected; children over eight years of age rarely, if ever, have the disease.
How is Kawasaki Syndrome spread?
The cause of Kawasaki Syndrome is unknown.
How is Kawasaki Syndrome diagnosed?
There is no specific laboratory test to diagnose Kawasaki Syndrome. A case of Kawasaki Syndrome is confirmed when a case meets the clinical case definition.
Comment: If fever disappears after intravenous gamma globulin therapy is started, the clinical case definition may still be met even if the fever is of less than 5 days' duration.
Where can I get more information?
- Your personal doctor.
- Your local health department listed in your telephone directory.
- The Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology (801) 538-6191.
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
BUREAU OF EPIDEMIOLOGY
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Case definitions for infectious conditions under public health surveillance. MMWR 1990; 39 (No. RR-13):17.