Background: Kawasaki disease is a common childhood vasculitis which may result in cardiovascular morbidity if not adequately treated. Its epidemiology in the African region is not well described. Its features may mimic other childhood infections and hemoglobinopathies and it is rarely diagnosed in the East African region. These are the first reports of this disease from Tanzania.
Case presentation: We present two cases of complete Kawasaki disease seen over a 2 year period and diagnosed as per the criteria defined by the American Heart Association. One child was and infant and the other a 3 year old. Both of them presented with a prolonged fever and mucocutaneous findings. None of the children developed coronary artery aneurysms. One was treated with aspirin alone and the other with both aspirin and intravenous immunoglobulin. Both children had complete recovery and did not have any cardiovascular sequelae.
Conclusion: Kawasaki disease may be more common in the East African region than previously thought. It should be considered as a differential diagnosis in children who present with a prolonged fever of greater than 5 days and mucocutaneous findings. More awareness about this condition, its epidemiology, diagnosis and management are required in order to prevent the cardiovascular morbidity associated with it.
Keywords: Coronary aneurysms; Fever; Intravenous immunoglobulin; Kawasaki; Rash; Tanzania; Vasculitis.