HCM CITY — The number of children suffering from Kawasaki disease, an illness that causes high fever, diarrhoea, affects the lymph nodes and seriously damages children’s hearts, has recently been on the rise, head of the Children Hospital No1’s Heart Department Vu Minh Phuc has warned.
According to Duc, around 20 cases a year are reported, with the victims hospitalised for treatment. However, the number was up to more than 100 cases last year, mostly of children under the age of five.
Only early this year, five more children were tested for the disease in hospital. A three-year-old patient was reported to have contracted the disease for a second time this year, even though there was only a 0,007 per cent chance of a relapse, Phuc said.
“This is a very dangerous disease. The cause is still unknown while it’s not easy to give the exact diagnosis about the disease as its symptoms, including high fever and red spots over the body, are similar to dengue fever,” he said.
Nguyen Duc Hung, a 15-month-old patient in Bien Hoa City in southern Dong Nai Province, were at first misdiagnosed as having dengue fever due to exhibiting the same symptoms.
“If the symptoms are recognised early enough, kids with Kawasaki disease can recover after a few days of treatment. Cases that go untreated can lead to more serious complications, such as vascular problems, inflammation of the blood vessels and worse, heart problems and possible death,” he said.
After three days of ineffective treatment, Hung was taken for a series of tests and diagnosed Kawasaki disease. The patient was transfered to a central hospital for treatment.
“The doctor said my son was lucky to be hospitalised early enough. The situation could have been worse if the disease had not been diagnosed correctly,” said Hung’s father Nguyen Duc Trung.
The doctor said preventing the disease was impossible so patients should have treatment as soon as possible, ideally within 10 days of the fever beginning, and the body revealing red spots.
According to health experts, Kawasaki disease was discovered in 1967 by a Japanese doctor. The disease mostly occurs in children under five, especially those aged between one and two years old. Up to 25 per cent of the patients were found to have inflamed blood vessels within several days of contracting the disease. — VNS
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