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Living With Kawasaki Disease

Most children who have Kawasaki disease recover—usually within weeks of getting symptoms. Further problems are rare. Early treatment reduces the risk of serious problems.

Researchers continue to look for the cause of Kawasaki disease and better ways to diagnose and treat it. They also hope to learn more about long-term health risks, if any, for people who have had the disease.

What To Expect After Treatment

Most children who are treated for Kawasaki disease fully recover from the acute phase. They don't need further treatment. 

They should, however, follow a healthy diet and adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Taking these steps can help lower their risk of future heart disease. (Following a healthy lifestyle is advised for all children, not just those who have Kawasaki disease).

Children treated with immune globulin should wait 11 months before having measles and chicken pox vaccines. Immune globulin can prevent these vaccines from working well.

Ongoing Health Care Needs

If Kawasaki disease has affected your child's coronary arteries, he or she will need ongoing care and treatment. It's best if a pediatric cardiologist provides this care to reduce the risk of severe heart problems. A pediatric cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in treating children who have heart problems.

Support Groups

Joining a support group may help you adjust to caring for a child who has Kawasaki disease. You can see how other parents have coped with the disease. Ask your child's doctor about local support groups or check with an area medical center.

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September 20, 2011