Kawasaki Disease Wafts to Japan on the Wind
Air from China brings a major cause of childhood heart disease to Japan, study finds.
The agent of Kawasaki disease, a potentially fatal illness in children, floats into Japan on seasonal winds from northeastern China, according to a report published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The pathogens responsible for the disease enter through mucous membranes and work their way into the arteries of young children. After the initial symptoms—including fever, rash, bloodshot eyes, and swollen hands and feet—subside, the disease leaves behind cardiac effects that can lead to heart disease and even death years later.(Related: "The Disease, My Friend, Is Blowing in the Wind.")
More than 40 years after KD was discovered, there is still no diagnostic test for the disease, and the pathogen that causes