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Kickin' Kawasaki disease


by Trinity Gruenberg

Kawasaki disease is not a deep love of motorcycles, but it is a type of disease and attacks the heart in young children.

January 26 is Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day and Verndale graduate Addison Neal, 18, wished to share her experience with the disease. 

The disease is very rare, affecting less than 20,000 people in the U.S. every year. It appears mostly in children under the age of five with those of Asian decent being at a higher risk. It is one of the leading causes of heart disease in children.

Medical professionals do not know the cause of this disease. It is believed to be due to genetics and exposure to viruses, bacteria and chemicals.

If the disease is caught early and treated, there is typically no lasting affects or permanent damage. In some cases it can cause heart rhythms, inflamed heart muscles, damaged heart valves, inflamed blood vessels, weak or bulging artery walls called aneurysms. This could increase the chances of blocked arteries, internal bleeding or even heart attacks.

Neal was 14 when she was diagnosed with the disease in April of 2015. 

She was experiencing chest pain and a fever that continued for three weeks, bloodshot eyes, swollen lymph nodes including  one the size of a baseball on her neck and the skin on her feet peeled off.

“It’s all sorts of different symptoms that get thrown into this crockpot of a disease,” explained Neal. . . . 

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