GUWAHATI, April 18 � A rare disease could become a matter of serious concern for children in Assam. Reports are emerging that Kawasaki disease (KD) has afflicted a few patients in recent times.
Also known as Kawasaki syndrome, lymph node syndrome and mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome, it is �an autoimmune disease that manifests as a systemic necrotizing medium-sized vessel vasculitis and is largely seen in children under five years of age�.
The disease affects many organ systems, including the blood vessels, skin, mucous membranes and lymph nodes. Its most serious effect is on the heart where it can cause coronary artery aneurysms in the absence of proper treatment.
Recently, a resident of Guwahati had to spend sleepless nights, when his 22 month-old girl started having high fever. At first she was taken to a private clinic which recommended some tests and later prescribed antibiotics.
However, as her condition did not improve, two days later, she was taken to another doctor who changed the medicines. However, that also did not make any difference and the doctor mentioned the need for a second opinion taking into account symptoms like red eyes, cracked lips, swelling in the calf, knee and face.
With no diagnosis in sight, the suffering infant was shifted to the Max Hospital in Gurgaon where doctors carried out fresh investigations. The case was also referred to a senior physician, Dr Arvind Taneja, who diagnosed it as Kawasaki disease. The child was put on a new treatment and given IV drip after which she made a recovery.
�I think that there is a need to spread awareness about the rare disease, and doctors especially should also take note of the situation. Better awareness among doctors will be a big boon to patients and guardians,� said the father of the child who did not wish to be named.
This is not an isolated event. A year ago, another small child was diagnosed with the same disease. He also could not be diagnosed in Assam, and was eventually treated in New Delhi.