Kawasaki Disease | UPSC

Kawasaki Disease | UPSC


ICMR D-G is wrong;Kawasaki disease in children post-COVID has been reported in India

      WHY IN NEWS:

Shut down schools if positivity rate goes up to more than 5 per cent: IAP chief

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases


For PRELIMS go through the cause , symptoms and the science behind this disease .

For MAINS what are the issues related with diagnosis of a disease in India ? Let us dive in !


Balram Bhargava, director-general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), last week said India did not have any such case.

  • There is much documentary and empirical evidence that has been reported from hospitals in Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi and Bengaluru.
  • As schools reopened in India, this could it lead to a spurt in novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in children (0-18 years).
  • And, in the recovery phase of the disease, less than 1 per cent in the world over have shown to be affected by either Kawasaki Disease (KD).

Kawasaki Disease | UPSC

  • This (KD or MIS-C) has been described with COVID-19 in different parts of the world.


  • KD or MIS-C are the results of a ‘cytokine storm’ in children, usually after one month of recovery from COVID-19.

Cytokines are produced in the body in response to an infection to fight against the virus.

  • But if they become a ‘storm’, they start destroying body tissues along with killing the virus.
  • If the storm affects all the major systems including kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, heart, etc, it is referred to as ‘multisystem syndrome’.
  • If it attacks blood carrying vessels, it results in KD.


Kawasaki disease causes swelling (inflammation) in the walls of medium-sized arteries throughout the body.

  • It primarily affects children.
  • The inflammation tends to affect the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle.

Kawasaki Disease | UPSC

Kawasaki Disease | UPSC


  • Kawasaki disease is an illness that causes blood vessels to become inflamed, almost always in young children.
  • It’s one of the leading causes of heart disease in kids.

But doctors can treat it if they find it early.

  • Most children recover without any problems.
  • Kawasaki disease is sometimes called mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome because it also affects glands that swell during an infection (lymph nodes).


  • The inflammation of Kawasaki disease can damage a child’s coronary arteries, which carry blood to their heart.

It can also cause problems with lymph nodes, skin, and the lining of a child’s mouth, nose, and throat.

  • Scientists haven’t found an exact cause for Kawasaki disease.
  • It might be linked to genes, viruses, bacteria, and other things in the world around a child, such as chemicals and irritants.

The disease probably isn’t contagious, but it sometimes happens in clusters in a community.

  • Kids are more likely to get it in the winter and spring.

Other things can raise a child’s risk of Kawasaki disease, including:

  • AGE : It usually affects children who are 5 or younger.
  • SEX : Boys are 1.5 times more likely to get it than girls.
  • ETHNICITY : Children of Asian descent are more likely to have Kawasaki disease.


Kawasaki disease comes on fast, and symptoms show up in phases.


  • High fever (above 101 F) that lasts more than 5 days.
  • It won’t go down even if a child takes medication that usually works on fever.

Rash and/or peeling skin, often between the chest and legs and in the genital or groin area.

  • Swelling and redness in hands and bottoms of feet
  • Red eyes
  • Swollen glands, especially in the neck
  • Irritated throat, mouth, and lips
  • Swollen, bright red “strawberry tongue


  • Joint pain
  • Belly pain
  • Stomach trouble, such as diarrhea and vomiting
  • Peeling skin on hands and feet

Kawasaki disease can cause heart trouble 10 days to 2 weeks after symptoms start.


  • Symptoms tend to go away slowly in the third phase.
  • It might last as long as 8 weeks.


No one knows what causes Kawasaki disease, but scientists don’t believe the disease is contagious from person to person.

  • A number of theories link the disease to bacteria, viruses or other environmental factors, but none has been proved.
  • Certain genes may make your child more likely to get Kawasaki disease.


  • Kawasaki disease is a leading cause of acquired heart disease in children.
  • However, with effective treatment, only a few children have lasting damage.

Heart complications include:

  • Inflammation of blood vessels, usually the coronary arteries, that supply blood to the heart

Inflammation of the heart muscle

  • Heart valve problems


  • Inflammation of the coronary arteries can lead to weakening and bulging of the artery wall (aneurysm).

Aneurysms increase the risk of blood clots, which could lead to a heart attack or cause life-threatening internal bleeding.

  • For a very small percentage of children who develop coronary artery problems, Kawasaki disease can cause death, even with treatment.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Scientist say that in the absence of standardised uniform international diagnostic guidelines there is less data around KD.

There was high probability that clinicians were missing milder cases.

  • They could also have been over-diagnosing similar presentations of KD or toxic shock syndromes such as MIS-C.
     SOURCES:  DownToEarth  | Kawasaki Disease | UPSC



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