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What is Kawasaki Syndrome?

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While Jett Travolta's recent death is said to be caused by serious head trauma following a seizure, there's talk everywhere of Kawasaki Syndrome, also known as Kawasaki Disease. Jett's mom Kelly Preston has been vocal about the illness her son with husband John Travolta was diagnosed at the age of two. Now Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell reveals his six-year-old son Baylee was also recently diagnosed with KS.
john travolta
But what is it and how is it detected? We asked momlogic pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson for answers. Here's what she told us:

Kawasaki syndrome is an uncommon illness that usually affects young children (under the age of five). It involves fever and inflammation throughout the body. The most feared complications involve inflammation of the blood vessels, especially the coronary arteries that feed the heart muscle. 

As parents, should we be worried that KS is affecting our own kids? Dr. Cara says, "In order to qualify as having Kawasaki's you have to have five days of fever. Most kids are very fussy and have dry, cracked lips and/or red eyes. Kids are pretty sick with Kawasaki's ... Parents have usually been in to see the doctor before the five day mark because the kids feel so bad. But you cannot (technically) make the diagnosis without five days of fever."

Standard treatments for KS include high doses of aspirin to reduce fever and overall swelling and an immunoglobulin to reduce arterial inflammation and prevent heart complications.

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21 comments so far | Post a comment now
WH March 26, 2011, 10:15 AM

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