Skip to content

Children's Health

Font Size

Bacterial and Viral Rashes

Life-Threatening Rashes continued...

Kawasaki disease is of unknown cause, although it is suspected to be caused by a bacteria or virus, which then results in an autoimmune reaction. It usually affects children younger than 5 years. It can have serious effects on your child's heart if not diagnosed and treated correctly. With treatment, only 2% of children die from this disease. Call your doctor or go to the hospital's emergency department immediately if you suspect your child may have Kawasaki disease.

  • Symptoms
    • The disease is defined by the following 5 diagnostic criteria:
      • Fever for more than 5 days
      • Redness of the eyes (painless conjunctivitis)
      • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
      • Red throat, tongue, or cracked lips
      • Redness or swelling of the hands and feet
      • Rash with flat red lesions, raised red lesions, blisters, or any combination of these.
    • The child appears quite ill and may also have vomiting, diarrhea, cough, and arthritis.
  • Treatment
    • No test diagnoses this disease. The diagnosis is made by looking for all of the diagnostic criteria. Children with this disease may also have an elevated platelet count. Saclike dilatation of the coronary arteries called aneurysms also may be noted. If the dilation is present and Kawasaki disease is suspected, your child will need an echocardiogram.
    • Children with Kawasaki disease are admitted to the hospital and given IV gamma globulin and high-dose aspirin.

Toxic shock syndrome

Toxic shock syndrome is a life-threatening disease in which many body systems are acutely affected. It can be similar to RMSF, measles, and several other diseases. This disease is caused by a toxin produced by S aureus or a streptococcal bacteria. When the causative organism is Streptococcus, the disease is called streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS). This disease can be fatal even with the maximum intensive treatment. If you suspect that your child may have TSS or STSS, go to your hospital's emergency department immediately.

  • Symptoms
    • Toxic shock syndrome is very serious and begins with a high fever, sore throat, and body aches and may include vomiting or diarrhea.
    • Your child may also have a low blood pressure, disorientation, or liver and kidney failure.
    • The rash looks like a mild sunburn but will be found in areas normally covered by clothes when outdoors.
    • Children with this disease appear very ill, and the disease can progress rapidly to life threatening.
  • Treatment
    • The source of the infection must be found and adequately treated, but the mainstay of therapy involves supporting the circulation.
    • Children with this disease are often admitted to the hospital for close observation and therapy in an intensive care setting.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
boy on father's shoulder
Measles virus
girl thinking

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration