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Mysterious Disease May Be Carried by the Wind

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the blowing-in-the-wind dept.

Japan 72

bmahersciwriter (2955569) writes "Kawasaki disease is a mysterious condition that results in alarming rashes, inflammation and sometimes early death. It sickens 12,000 children a year in Japan and is suspected to arrive there and elsewhere by the wind. Now, researchers have narrowed the source to croplands in northern China and offered some possible explanations as to its cause."

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Kawasaki disease (5, Funny)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 2 months ago | (#47041869)

Travels by motorcycle.

Re:Kawasaki disease (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 months ago | (#47042073)

I got the disease from playing a piano, you insensitive clod!

Re:Kawasaki disease (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042149)

No, that's a very similar ailment called "Yamaha disease."

Re:Kawasaki disease (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 months ago | (#47042543)

You should have bought a Yamaha

Re:Kawasaki disease (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042135)

.......resulting in alarming crashes.

Re:Kawasaki disease (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042139)

we used to call it Road Rash.

Re:Kawasaki disease (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042243)

Anyone modding this up is secretly boring.

Re:Kawasaki disease (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 2 months ago | (#47050695)

Anyone reading this is secretly boring.

Re:Kawasaki disease (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47044163)

Diseases traveling by bikes lack a proper method, and a violin.

Re:Kawasaki disease (1)

sribe (304414) | about 2 months ago | (#47045769)

Travels by motorcycle.

Abscess makes the fart go "Honda"! (Trust me, you don't want to hear the 5 minutes of rambling which leads to that punchline...)

Re:Kawasaki disease (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | about 2 months ago | (#47046099)

Trust me, we have. In my instance, it was delivered by an Australian businessman in the middle of a training class. I was his tech support when he ran the class. I heard it every single time. That plus the joke which ends, "The Czech's in the male," will be fused into my consciousness until my dying day.

Re:Kawasaki disease (1)

sribe (304414) | about 2 months ago | (#47048577)

The Czech's in the male

I'm a frayed knot!

Stay inside (3, Funny)

jonyen (2633919) | about 2 months ago | (#47041887)

"Come now, young lad, stay out of the wind or you'll catch Kawasaki disease."

"Aw...but I wanted to go fly my kite today!"

Re:Stay inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47044895)

Is this meant to be a joke, or merely an example exchange in which "Kawasaki disease" is mentioned? If it's meant to be a joke, the "punchline" is severely lacking.

"Haha, I get it — Kawasaki disease is carried by the wind, and wind carries kites aloft!"

Is this how I'm meant to react to this "joke?"

Re:Stay inside (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 2 months ago | (#47045599)

The word kite (0x6765 0x3066 - thanks, Slashdot) is Japanese for come now. Still don't get it as a joke.

Re:Stay inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47057445)

Is this meant to be a joke, or merely an example exchange in which "Kawasaki disease" is mentioned? If it's meant to be a joke, the "punchline" is severely lacking.

"Haha, I get it — Kawasaki disease is carried by the wind, and wind carries kites aloft!"

Is this how I'm meant to react to this "joke?"

It's a play on the idea that kids want to stay in and watch TV/play video games all day while parents want them to go outside and play. The joke is that it's inverted from the norm.

Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47041929)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0949731/

Traced? Perhaps. (4, Interesting)

St.Creed (853824) | about 2 months ago | (#47041949)

The closing comment was that, since the supposed origin would be frozen solid at the time the disease was supposed to originate there, the real origin of the disease is still as unknown as always. But they're now looking at bacterial toxin as the main culprit. Nice...

I bet you could make a nice disastermovie about this, where it turns out that the GMO crops in India are the real culprits. Then, when they are sprayed with new insecticide, they combine with a new bacterium that integrates the GMO resistance genes, and spread a superplague that turns everyone into a Triffid.

Weehee, I'm calling my agent :)

Re:Traced? Perhaps. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042041)

meh and even it it really was from the crops:

Antibiotics promote yeast infections, including gastrointestinal Candida overgrowth, and penetration of the GI mucosa.[8] While women are more susceptible to genital yeast infections, men can also be infected. Certain factors, such as prolonged antibiotic use, increase the risk for both men and women. People with diabetes or impaired immune systems, such as those with HIV, are more susceptible to yeast infections.

other causes could be making the japanese infants susceptable to what might normally not hurt anyone. one can only speculate on the japanese hospitals procedures and antibiotic use in the country or whether people have healthy flora and eat the right nutrients to keep their personal ecosystems and the ecosystems of the infants ok

IT could be as simple as NOT BREASTFeeding their infants.

Re:Traced? Perhaps. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042065)

So this is antibiotics' fault? Okay, Crazy.

Re:Traced? Perhaps. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042163)

It would not be the first time
Global anti-biotic resistant bacteria are emerging, primarily due to over (or mis) use of antibiotics
Generations of Taiwanese were born with discolored teeth because the government felt that it was better to give all pregnant women tetracycline ...
ymmv

Re:Traced? Perhaps. (1)

Calinous (985536) | about 2 months ago | (#47044513)

Teeths appear no earlier than 6 months, and usually at about one year of age.

Re:Traced? Perhaps. (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 2 months ago | (#47045935)

Tooth development and calcification of baby teeth begins in uterus [wikipedia.org] . The teeth don't magically appear at 6 months old.

Re:Traced? Perhaps. (1)

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) | about 2 months ago | (#47042803)

meh and even it it really was from the crops:

Interesting to see that the supposed origin is northeastern China, which is where the Japanese special unit 731 carried out biological warfare experiments during WWII, polluting large areas with bioweapons products. Perhaps this is a case of the chickens coming home to roost?

Re:Traced? Perhaps. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47042141)

Submit it here:
http://www.theasylum.cc/ [theasylum.cc]

Re:Traced? Perhaps. (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 2 months ago | (#47042217)

> But they're now looking at bacterial toxin as the main culprit.

Well toxin anyway, without knowing what that toxin is and what is producing it, even to say it is bacterial is unknown. It could be a yeast, man made, or even a plant (pollen?). However, it does seem to be unlikely to come from an agricultural source with frozen ground.... maybe the ocean?

That would be some mega-disaster fodder right there.... a worldwide bloom of toxic phytoplankton.....they gave us breath, now they have come to take it away. Trapped by the seas around japan, now global warming unleashes them on the world.

I am thinking, some solution involving finding asteroids made of saltpeter and diverting them to the earths oceans to overfeed them with fertilizer and use up all the oceanic oxygen....saving humanity... and causing bumper crops the world over next year....some solace as the world struggles with the repercussions of killing the ocean to save the land.

Or at least imply all that in the montages between the action shots and trite dialogue.

Re:Traced? Perhaps. (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 2 months ago | (#47045807)

That would be a great movie. But it would never get made - except to be released by Echo Bridge Entertainment or The Asylum. And the science isn't broken enough for either of them to take it.

Only one man will know what to do. The discredited genius scientist. He will formulate a plan but be unable to do anything or get anyone to listen until the 11th hour.

SMON (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 2 months ago | (#47044199)

Sounds like another SMON to me.

Japan is wierd.

Re:Traced? Perhaps. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045661)

Of course it has absolutely nothing to do with the massive ongoing radiation leaks at Fukushima.

Uhh summary might as well include this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47041951)

But David Battisti, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle, questions whether northeastern China is the region of origin of Kawasaki's causative agent. He notes that outbreaks of the disease tend to occur in Japan during winter and early spring, when cropland in northeastern China is frozen solid, and winds would not stir up many particles.

“it's an open question still whether the source region is northeast China, or maybe even further west,” he says.

No one knows. This is a bad story. what gives /.?

China bad china bad china bad... my tinfoil theory says this is just crap spewed forth into the interwebs by propagandists

Re:Uhh summary might as well include this. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#47042107)

What if this is a military weapon being tested and drifts into Japan on accident (or purpose depending on the depth of the testing).

Of course biological weapons are outlawed so of course it would be secret. The kind of secrete that you would want to develop in an isolated frozen land- away from prying eyes.

Re:Uhh summary might as well include this. (3, Funny)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 2 months ago | (#47042365)

Does it cause sudden and unusual growth in lizards?

Re:Uhh summary might as well include this. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#47042385)

I dunno.. have you seen any large lizards lately?

Re:Uhh summary might as well include this. (1)

maharvey (785540) | about 2 months ago | (#47044561)

Yeah I just drained it a few minutes ago

Re:Uhh summary might as well include this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47046947)

No... He said *large*.

malus aer (1)

potpie (706881) | about 2 months ago | (#47041961)

The Romans were onto something after all...

valley fever (4, Interesting)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 2 months ago | (#47041963)

The article doesn't give a ton of detail, but it sounds a lot like the Valley Fever that occurs in the US South West. Which is Candida fungus if i remember correctly.

Re:valley fever (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47042123)

Disease of the desert dwellers: active in Arizona and West Texas intermittently.

If it's not the same disease, [wikipedia.org] it's a relative.

Re:valley fever (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47042601)

Hmm, I think that's what my mother had. I always thought it was tularemia, since both are called "valley fever" and the endemic areas overlap. But the occidioidomycosis symptoms match more closely.

Re:valley fever (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47043119)

And an article linked in TFA also notes that coccidioidomycosis would have a similar vector - and that outbreaks tend to peak after dust storms and ... earthquakes.

So now we've got yet another Zombie Level problem to worry about. It's just not fair.

Re:valley fever (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042177)

Coccidioidomycosis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coccidioidomycosis

not candida

Re:valley fever (2)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 2 months ago | (#47042379)

Don't try to blame it on Candida, you hoser!

Re:valley fever (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47042535)

Yes this was my first thought. My mother and uncle both caught it as children, and it seems to be endemic in the particular area they were living (rural Tulare country). They were diagnosed because this was just about the time it was first being diagnosed and tests for it became common post WWII.

Key points are that it causes rashes, inflammation, sometimes death, and can be spread from inhalation of fungal spores in dust that is blown around (though more commonly from ticks). Sounds a lot like this mysterious disease in several ways.

Re:valley fever (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 months ago | (#47042561)

So Frank Zappa [youtube.com] is to blame? "Oh My God!" does it make you "Barf Out!?"

Interesting (2)

Dekonega (1606763) | about 2 months ago | (#47041965)

Hmm... that's pretty interesting. I hope they can find the source and I do hope that some kind of Chinese factory isn't the cause because that would make the relationship between the two countries worse. But on the otherhand the China's leaders have been pretty public about the environmental issues lately. If the cause is indeed in China (although the researchers in the article doubted this) there's a good chance that this might offer the kind of catalyst to make Japanese industries more invested in helping Chinese industry to be more environmental friendly and for example share the green technology.

Re:Interesting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042267)

> make Japanese industries more invested

You really think murdering their children will make them more likely to work with them? Did you forget that this is the Japanese we're talking about? They decided to murder over 300,00 people in just six weeks in one city during The Rape of Nanking. That is the way of their kind. You really think they won't take any excuse as an opportunity to kill just as their kind has so often in the past?

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47126823)

Essentialize much?

Good, Night. (4, Funny)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47042045)

It's Happening... the plants have finally recognized us for the enemy that we are.

Re:Good, Night. (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47042151)

I welcome our new leader, El Cid.

China, whodda thunk? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042047)

Everything that comes from this shithole is toxic.

Re:China, whodda thunk? (1)

FunkyRider (1128099) | about 2 months ago | (#47042443)

Like toxic you who came out of yo mama's shithole!

Re:China, whodda thunk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045027)

Like toxic you who came out of yo mama's shithole[?]

To whoever modded this down: Anal births — while rare — do happen from time to time; it was an honest suggestion (though it would have been more appropriately phrased as a question).

Etherwind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042089)

It sounds like etherwind to me.

This won't help Chinese/Japanese relations... (1)

Irate Engineer (2814313) | about 2 months ago | (#47042187)

Just saying. The whole Nanking unpleasantness, now Kawasaki's disease.

Can't we all get along?

I agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042375)

http://www.pensu.com/

Last paragraph of the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042503)

âoeit's an open question still whether the source region is northeast China, or maybe even further west,â he says.

Can it get to islands? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47042971)

Well, it travels by wind, but can it get to Madagascar? If it can, I fear for humanity...

Yet another bogus theory, in my opinion (5, Interesting)

stevel (64802) | about 2 months ago | (#47043067)

My son contracted Kawasaki Disease in 1987 when he was 4. It was a terrifying experience as the doctors could not explain what was causing his symptoms, including a fever of 104. The poor kid underwent spinal taps and more. Eventually he was transferred to Boston Floating Hospital for Children where they concluded he had Kawasaki. There was no test for it - it's one of those "process of elimination" diagnoses and not all who have KD have all of the symptoms. At that time, there was no known cure but my son was enrolled in a random trial of gamma globulin infusion and, thankfully, the dosage he was assigned turned out to be the one that worked the best. He recovered and tests showed no lasting heart damage.

At the time, there were many wild theories as to what caused it. One of the more prevalent notions was that it was triggered by carpet cleaning chemicals, since debunked. This paper smacks to me of "correlation does not equal causation". I'm especially dubious about the supposed geographic origins given that incidents, while clustered around metropolitan areas, were not confined to the west US coast (we live in New Hampshire.)

Over the years I have read many articles and research papers about Kawasaki Disease. I don't think we're any closer to an explanation than we were in 1987.

Re:Yet another bogus theory, in my opinion (3, Informative)

manofherb (211786) | about 2 months ago | (#47043279)

Father from Nebraska, my son came down with it in February of 2013 after 3-4 days of him just clinging to us with high fevers we finally took him to the emergency room where they did the cultures, the spinal tap, blood draws, etc everything when they finally determined what it was(my wife had googled it around the same time) they were able to start the IVIG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I... [wikipedia.org] and by the next morning his fever had gone down and he started getting back to normal followed up by a few ultrasounds of his heart over the next couple months safe to say I'm glad we had insurance and we met our deductible quick that day afterwards i found out a co-worker's daughter had it a few years before, and my wife knows 2 other people whose children have had it

Re:Yet another bogus theory, in my opinion (1)

Miguelito (13307) | about 2 months ago | (#47044339)

They did ultrasounds on me for a few years (they still had no idea how long to check for) and I actually got to see some of the evolution of the machines. I remember seeing the first time they started measuring the blood flow with blue and red representing directions of the flow.

It was such an unknown thing for so long, that I was turned down when I tried to donate blood at age 18. The nurse at the blood drive even called their central office to ask, but since no one knew what it was, they decided to err on the side of caution. Enough knowledge about it became more common over the years, I guess, as I was finally able to donate during a blood drive at work several years later.

Part of "anti-China" propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47043849)

Kawasaki Disease, as you have put it, occurs everywhere on the earth, including New Hampshire, USA

The claim by TFA on the so-called "scientists" pinpointing the "origin" of the Kawasaki Disease to the wheatfield/padifield somewhere in China not only does not hold any water, it does come across as if TFA plays to the tune of everything-that-is-wrong-must-be-the-making-of-China propaganda

TFA is not a scientific finding

TFA is a political propaganda

Re:Yet another bogus theory, in my opinion (2)

Miguelito (13307) | about 2 months ago | (#47044319)

I was actually diagnosed with it when I was 12 (back in 1985), same type of "process of elimination" diagnoses. First they thought I had Chicken Pox, then they thought it might be something else, then they finally settled on KD. My own fever actually hit 105.4, and they had to give me an ice bath (you don't know the meaning of cold until you've had that happen).

My fever was so high for so long that I burned from the inside out and my skin peeled over my entire body. I had no idea that could happen. Spent a few days in the hospital. It was unsettling that they'd bring in the student doctors from UCSD (I'm in San Diego) to examine me because they really had no clue yet, and were both looking for any ideas and anything that odd is a learning experience, I guess. About the only positive of the hospital stay was they actually let me avoid the IV hookup as long as I drank enough water to stay hydrated.

My family had our carpet cleaned shortly before I got sick, so I've heard the related idea too. Though I didn't hear it as the chemicals but something to do with the dampness after cleaning. And I was the type of kid that loved to lay on the floor while watching TV and such. I've also read up on it now and then and notice when it's mentioned. They didn't really treat me with anything specific and just focused on fighting the symptoms with, initially Tylenol, then switching to aspirin later on.

I'm still bummed all these years later that I missed 6th grade camp with all my friends because I was still just barely getting over being sick.

Re:Yet another bogus theory, in my opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47044861)

The poor kid underwent spinal taps and more.

Did he go up to 12 ??????

Early Death (0)

tobiasly (524456) | about 2 months ago | (#47043173)

Sometimes results in "early death"? As opposed to those diseases that kill you when you would have died anyway?

Re:Early Death (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47043343)

better late than never

Re:Early Death (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47044075)

Sometimes results in "early death"? As opposed to those diseases that kill you when you would have died anyway?

Some diseases you get over and they don't affect your life span. Like the common cold for most people. No one says "he died early because he caught a mild cold when he was 4."

Re:Early Death (1)

ponos (122721) | about 2 months ago | (#47044119)

Some diseases leave lasting morbidity (say, itching) but are not expected to modify life span. People suffering from fibromyalgia, for example, don't seem to live shorter lives, but do have many symptoms.

Interesting theory (1)

ponos (122721) | about 2 months ago | (#47044129)

Just like some people develop (autoimmune) disease after exposure to gluten, we could expect other environmental agents to trigger Kawasaki. I'm curious to see if this is confirmed. Unfortunately, I don't see we could avoid exposure. Maybe hosts with genetic susceptibility should wear masks? Still, not easy...

All the gear, all the time (1)

Alioth (221270) | about 2 months ago | (#47044569)

If you wear all the gear all the time, you're far likely to get rashes and death when you fall off your Kawasaki.

Re:All the gear, all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045153)

A swing and a miss....

"Traced"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045777)

So the article says they've traced it to northern Chinese croplands, but then towards the end of the article it says that most of the cases occur in the winter/early spring when the croplands are snowed over and the amount of contaminants should be minimal. Sounds to me like they've found very little, they may have found the agent (a bacteria) but they still don't know its source(s) and its convenient to blame it on China, seems to be a fad as of late.

Transmitted dripping clams (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47047525)

Mmmmm.

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