Rare Disease May Be Blowing in Wind
A rare condition that leads to serious heart damage may be spreading through the wind, researchers believe. Kawasaki disease frequently impacts children and includes symptoms of prolonged fever, blood-shot eyes, red lips, red tongue, and also red, swollen hands and feet with peeling skin.
Large-scale wind currents moving from Asia to Japan and around the North Pacific could be the root of the problem. Researchers discovered the number of Kawasaki disease cases increased in Japan when the wind blew in a southwesterly direction, and decreased when winds blew from the south. They also found the numbers of cases peaked from November to March when air from Central Asia blew over Japan and reached as far as Hawaii and San Diego.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that around 5,000 to 6,000 American children get the disease every year, most under the age of 5. Children with the disease are treated with a high dose of antibodies, but 10 to 20 percent of those with the disease end up with coronary artery damage.
If a childâ€™s fever lasts beyond five days and includes a rash, red eyes, and lips, have him or her checked out for Kawasaki disease.
Do you know someone with this disease?