Early Kawasaki Disease Symptoms

Definition of Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki Disease is a rare condition that mainly effects young children, and can potentially be life-threatening. It is caused by inflammation of blood vessels in the body, leading to problems with the heart and other organs. Symptoms include fever, rash, red eyes, swollen hands and feet, and irritation and swelling of the mouth, lips, and throat. If left untreated, Kawasaki Disease can cause serious complications such as aneurysms, coronary artery damage, and heart disease. Treatment is aimed at controlling inflammation and minimizing tissue damage. Early diagnosis and treatment is key for successful outcomes.

Signs and Symptoms

Kawasaki Disease, a condition caused by inflammation of blood vessels, is a serious health risk for young children. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the risk of complications and build a better prognosis. Some of the earliest symptoms of Kawasaki Disease can occur within two to four weeks after the onset of the disease. Among these symptoms are high fever, red eyes, red throat, swollen lymph nodes, red skin rash on the trunk, peeling of the skin on the fingers and toes, and swollen hands and feet. Other signs of Kawasaki Disease may include redness on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, a red swollen tongue, and a rash on the genitals or buttocks. Early detection and treatment is essential for ensuring a good outcome for patients suffering from Kawasaki Disease. If you suspect your child may have Kawasaki Disease, make sure to ask your healthcare provider for a full assessment.


Kawasaki Disease (KD) is a serious childhood illness that can cause inflammation in the arteries, resulting in potentially life-threatening complications if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential to prevent long-term damage. One of the most common early symptoms of KD is a high fever that is resistant to medicine. Here are some of the other symptoms associated with KD:

  1. Fever of 103°F or higher that lasts at least five days
  2. Fever that does not respond to medicine
  3. Swollen lymph nodes
  4. Red eyes
  5. Rash on the body, especially the trunk and genital area
  6. Irritability, especially in infants
  7. Strawberry tongue
  8. Redness and swelling of palms and soles of feet

It is important to be aware of these early symptoms of Kawasaki Disease and seek medical attention if your child is exhibiting any or all of them. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to preventing long-term complications.


Kawasaki disease, also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome, is a rare inflammatory illness of unknown cause that affects the blood vessels. One of the most recognizable early symptoms of this disease is a rash. The rash is usually characterized by redness and swelling, and can extend even to the face, neck, palms and soles of the feet. The rash may also appear on other areas of the body, such as the area around the eyes and the back. In some cases, the rash can become itchy and scaly. If the rash persists for more than two weeks or is accompanied by fever, it could be an indication of Kawasaki disease. It is important to seek medical attention if a rash persists and is accompanied by other symptoms.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

Swollen lymph nodes, also known as lymphadenopathy, is one of the common early symptoms of Kawasaki Disease and is often one of the first signs to be observed. In most cases, one or more of the lymph nodes located throughout the body may become swollen and tender. These swollen lymph nodes can be found on either side of the neck, behind the ears and in the armpits or groin area. Although swollen lymph nodes can be indicative of a number of medical conditions, they are particularly worrying when they accompany other symptoms of Kawasaki Disease. As such, it is important to consult a medical professional immediately if this symptom is observed.

Swollen Hands and Feet

Kawasaki Disease can cause a variety of symptoms, including swelling in the hands and feet. This is usually the first symptom to appear, and can be noticeable even in very young children. The swelling is caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, and can range from mild to severe. In some cases, the palms and the soles of the feet may swell and become tender. If left untreated, the swelling may spread to other parts of the body, including the face, arms and legs. Treatment typically involves taking anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the inflammation, as well as aspirin to reduce the risk of developing blood clots. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, most patients with Kawasaki Disease can make a full recovery.

Red, Cracked Lips

One of the first signs of Kawasaki Disease is red, cracked lips. This can often be one of the earliest symptoms of the disease and is frequently observed in children immediately following the first signs of fever. Many times, the lips will be dry, chapped, or have small cracks or sores. If a child appears to have these symptoms, it could be an early warning sign of Kawasaki Disease and should be discussed with a medical professional as soon as possible. In addition to red, cracked lips, other early symptoms of Kawasaki Disease include swollen lymph nodes and a red tongue. If a child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Bloodshot Eyes

Bloodshot eyes are a common early symptom of Kawasaki Disease. The eyes may appear red or swollen, and the vessels around the iris may be swollen, giving them a “string of pearls” look. In severe cases, the eyes may appear swollen shut, and the whites of the eyes may appear a pinkish-red color. As the disease progresses, the eyes may become very sensitive to light. This symptom can be treated with prescription eye drops, and the eyes should return to normal once the condition has been treated.

Swelling of Tongue and Throat

Kawasaki Disease, also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome, is a rare condition that can affect both children and adults. One of the most common early symptoms of the disease is swelling of the tongue and throat. This is caused by inflammation of the lymph nodes and can cause the throat to feel tight, making it difficult to swallow and speak. The swelling can also cause the tongue to look larger than normal and feel painful when touched. If the swelling is not treated, it can lead to problems such as an enlarged lymph node, which can cause pain and difficulty in breathing. Treatment of the swelling is important to prevent any further damage. Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, and antibiotics are often prescribed to reduce the swelling and treat any underlying infection.

Joint Pain

Kawasaki Disease, sometimes known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome, is a potentially serious immune disorder that mainly affects children under the age of 5. One of the most common and agonizing symptoms of this disorder is joint pain. Youngsters may experience aching, swelling, and stiffness in the joints that can be particularly prominent in the knees, wrists, and ankles. Patients will likely have difficulty using their hands and feet due to the discomfort that pain brings. In severe cases, children may experience persistent joint pain, deformities, and stiff joints. Due to this, they may be unable to do normal activities painlessly. Parents should be watchful of any activity restriction due to joint pain in their child and seek help if they see it lasting more than a few days. Early diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease is key, so identifying joint pain as an early symptom can make all the difference.


Early symptoms of Kawasaki disease can also include irritability. Children with Kawasaki may become easily agitated, cry more often than usual and be less tolerant than normal. Many parents initially mistake this behavior for a sign of a possible ear infection or teething, when in fact it is a symptom of the disorder. Other early symptoms include a fever that lasts longer than five days, swollen lymph nodes and skin changes such as a red rash. As the first signs of Kawasaki start to appear, it is important to contact your doctor as soon as possible so they can accurately diagnose the disorder and provide the necessary treatment.


Kawasaki Disease (KD) is a life-threatening inflammation of the blood vessels. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for successful management of this condition. Clinicians must be aware of the various symptoms associated with the disease in order to provide effective treatment.

  1. Fever lasting over five days
  2. Rash on the trunk, face, or inside of the mouth
  3. Red, cracked lips
  4. Swollen eyes, hands, and feet
  5. Irritability or decreased appetite

Diagnosis is carried out by examining a patient’s medical history and performing necessary laboratory tests. The doctor may also order an echocardiogram to check the heart’s condition and evaluate the risk of heart-related issues caused by KD. In addition, a urine test may be ordered to check for kidney inflammation, as well as a phosphate test to detect any calcium imbalance in the patient.


One of the key treatments for Kawasaki Disease is medicine. The main medicine used for this condition is immunoglobulin, or IVIG, which is a combination of healthy antibodies from donated human blood. This medicine works to reduce inflammation and decrease the risk of developing any complications of the disease. Other medications, such as aspirin and acetaminophen, may be given to reduce the fever and relieve pain. In severe cases, high doses of corticosteroids like prednisone may be used to reduce swelling of the arteries and heart. In order to be most effective, treatment for Kawasaki Disease should begin as early as possible, preferably within 10 days of the first symptom. Treatment with IVIG and aspirin should be given within the first 7 days of the illness.


The outlook for Kawasaki Disease varies widely, depending on the severity of the condition and the speed at which it is diagnosed and treated. In the majority of cases, Kawasaki Disease is managed successfully with the right treatment. Early diagnosis and rapid treatment can typically reduce the risk of potential complications, such as inflammation of the arteries. In general, most children who are treated before irreversible changes in the cardiovascular system occur, can fully recover and develop normally. However, it is important to keep in mind that some people may experience long-term complications from Kawasaki Disease, such as the development of aneurysms or coronary artery damage. In these cases, long-term monitoring and continued medical care are essential.

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