Australia’s active hospital-based surveillance for severe childhood disease


Principal investigator 

Associate Professor Davinder Singh-Grewal

PAEDS has conducted national surveillance of Kawasaki disease (KD) since January 2019.

Kawasaki disease is an enigmatic condition that can be difficult to diagnose. One of the difficulties is the lack of a diagnostic test - doctors diagnose the disease on the basis of clinical criteria (such as the presence of a rash, fever, swollen lymph nodes and red eyes). Unfortunately many other conditions can look just like Kawasaki disease, making it very difficult to decide which children need to be treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). One of the long-term goals of this study is to help develop a diagnostic test so that children with Kawasaki disease can be diagnosed and treated earlier.

Much of the funding for these studies has been provided by the National Blood Authority. IVIG is a blood product that comes from blood donors. As such it is a highly valuable, and sometimes scarce, resource. It is hoped that this research will help to make more informed decisions about how IVIG is used in the management of Kawasaki disease. 

Kawasaki disease and Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporally associated with SARS-COV-2 (PIMS-TS) surveillance is also important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about this here

Refer also to the clinical advice statement on PIMS-TS, developed by the PAEDS network and endorsed by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). The statement provides information on what is known about PIMS-TS; similarities between PIMS-TS and Kawasaki disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome; recommendations for management of patients with possible PIMS-TS; and who to contact if clinicians need further information.

For further information or enquiries email the PAEDS team.