Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day

WHEREAS, Kawasaki Disease is a serious illness, characterized by inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body, that primarily affects young children and can lead to permanent heart disease; and

WHEREAS, Kawasaki Disease can cause devastating consequences including life-long aneurysms, stent placement, heart transplants, skin disorders and childhood anxiety; and

WHEREAS, Kawasaki Disease is the number-one cause of permanent heart disease in children and is diagnosed in approximately 4,000 to 5,000 U.S. children annually, with most being under the age of eight, reaching across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines; scientific studies indicate that genetic inheritance is an important risk factor; and

WHEREAS, despite the serious consequences that can manifest in children with Kawasaki Disease, recent instances of young adults suffering heart attacks in their 20s and 30s show evidence of old aneurysms and a missed diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease as a child; and

WHEREAS, the American Heart Association, the World Heart Federation and the National Institute of Health recognize the need for proper and timely diagnosis, education and treatment of Kawasaki Disease; and

WHEREAS, missed diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease can lead to permanent heart disease and untimely death, placing an unnecessary financial burden on the health care system; and

WHEREAS, lack of knowledge, combined with the issue that symptoms can disappear, has a particularly detrimental effect on the diagnosis and treatment of Kawasaki Disease; and

WHEREAS, there is a need to educate healthcare professionals, parents and the general public on who can be at risk for the disease, and a need for well-trained physicians and emergency room professionals capable of conducting timely diagnosis and treatment activities; and

WHEREAS, studies by the Kawasaki Disease Research Center and others consistently reveal that through proper and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment, the symptoms and effects of Kawasaki Disease can be substantially decreased and quality of life for the individual can be improved:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert Bentley, Governor of Alabama, do hereby proclaim January 26, 2013 as

Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day

in the state of the Alabama.