An image portraying a little Cameroonian girl all puffy and with shedding on her skin, mouth and limbs has been widely shared on social networks. The goal is the warn against the consumption of Chinese products which would cause a sickness called Kawasaki.
If it is true that there is indeed a rare illness called Kawasaki, affecting infants and young children, it is however not of Chinese origin.
It takes its name from a Japanese paediatrician Tomisaku Kawasaki who described it for the first time in 1967 in the English medical literature. Though very frequent im Japan, national investigations in various European countries particularly France helped identify it. In Africa, only a few irregular cases were reported, in Northern and Southern Africa. In Western Africa, three cases were reported, in Côte d'Ivoire in 1981, in Senegal in 1987 and Nigeria in 1989. In Central Africa, two cases were found in Congo Brazzaville in 2000.
Not contagious, its causes however remain unknown. Nevertheless, most of the children suffering from it recover, unless heart conditions appear in spite of adequate treatment.