Tag: Kawasaki disease

Is Wind Spreading a Mysterious Disease Across the Pacific?

By Sarah Zhang | April 6, 2012 9:13 am

strawberry tongue
Strawberry tongue, a symptom of Kawasaki disease.

Scientists don’t know much about the cause of Kawasaki disease—a disease of blood vessel inflammation most commonly found in Japan—but they do know one thing: Japanese outbreaks  are highly correlated with winds from central Asia. When those same winds blow thousands of miles across the Pacific to Hawaii and California, Kawasaki disease ends up there too.

The disease affects generally children under the age of five. Blood vessels through the body become inflamed, leading to rashes, a characteristic “strawberry tongue,” and death in some untreated cases. Japanese pediatrician Tomisaku Kawasaki described the first case in 1960, and incidence of the mysterious disease have been rising ever since.

In the latest issue of NatureJennifer Fraser profiles scientists who are looking to the wind for answers about Kawasaki disease. There are a couple examples of windspread fungal spores, just as Aspergillus sydowii that follows dust storms from Africa to the Caribbean, but conditions up high are so extreme that wind had not been seriously considered capable of spreading disease across the Pacific:
Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Health & Medicine
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

80beats

80beats is DISCOVER's news aggregator, weaving together the choicest tidbits from the best articles covering the day's most compelling topics.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »