Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng recently shared how his toddler Katie had come down with Kawasaki disease in Singapore.
The 18-month-old was hospitalised at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital for two days. She has thankfully responded well to the immuno-globulin treatment, and is now back home.
Daddy Louis shares, “It’ll take a bit of time for her to recover fully from the Kawasaki disease, and we’ll have to wait and see if there are any long-term complications, especially to her heart…”
Louis Ng wants all parents to know that “Kawasaki disease is easily misdiagnosed as a virus.”
“Mums and Dads – please read up about it and be aware of the red flags – high fever that lasts for several days, rash, red eyes with no discharge and red, dry lips. Prompt treatment is important to minimise the risk of potential long-term complications.”
Katie’s twin Poppy, and older sister Ella are both fine.
Kawasaki Disease in Singapore
The Kawasaki Disease (KD) Support Group Singapore says that there are over 200 cases of KD in Singapore every year.
They have created a video to create awareness for this condition.
Symptoms of Kawasaki Disease
Kawasaki disease is an illness that affects the blood vessels. It often affects the skin, mouth, and lymph nodes, and is most common in kids under the age of five. The cause is unknown, but a viral infection probably triggers it. If parents or medical professionals recognise the symptoms early, children with Kawasaki disease can fully recover within a few days.
If left untreated though, it can lead to serious complications that can affect the heart. That’s because Kawasaki disease can harm the coronary arteries, which carry blood to the heart muscle. The doctor will usually monitor the child for heart problems for a few weeks to a few months after treatment.
Kawasaki disease is not contagious.
Symptoms of Kawasaki disease include:
- A high fever (as high as 39-40 °C) lasting at least five days
- Red eyes
- A body rash, especially on the stomach, chest, and genitals
- Sore irritated throat
- Swollen, red, cracked lips
- Swollen tongue with a white coating and big red bumps (called “strawberry tongue”)
- BCG scar may be prominent
- Swollen, red feet and hands
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Treatment of Kawasaki Disease
Most children who have Kawasaki disease get better and have no long-term problems. However, early detection and treatment is critical, because it shortens the illness and lowers the chances of heart problems.
Heart problems usually won’t develop if Kawasaki disease is treated within 10 days of the start of symptoms.
The diagnosis of Kawasaki disease is not straightforward, and a single test might not be enough. If doctors suspect Kawasaki disease, they may order tests to monitor heart function (such as an echocardiogram). They might also take blood and urine samples to rule out other conditions.
Treatment of Kawasaki should begin within 10 days after a fever starts, to avoid cardiovascular complications.
One type of treatment is done by administering intravenous (IV) doses of gamma globulin (purified antibodies) (IVIG), which is a blood component essential to fighting infection.
Another treatment involves giving high doses of Aspirin (or low doses over a prolonged period of time) to lessen the risk of heart complications.