Health officials warn of rare, wind-borne illness in San Diego 

Health officials in San Diego are warning physicians about a spike in cases of a rare childhood illness called Kawasaki disease, reports Fox 5 San Diego.

Three things to know:

1. Sixteen children in San Diego have been diagnosed with Kawasaki disease this year.

2. The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency issued a health advisory about the spike in cases Feb. 14.

"Kawasaki disease is not an illness many physicians have diagnosed, and it can initially be confused with other more common illnesses," Wilma Wooten, MD, the county's public health officer, said in the advisory. "We are alerting health professionals and parents today to raise awareness."

3. The exact cause of Kawasaki disease is unknown, but researchers have observed correlations between disease clusters and changes in the weather. The proposed hypothesis is that disruptive weather patterns stir up a virus, fungus or toxin in the air, which triggers an aggressive immune response when it lands in the throats of people who are genetically susceptible.

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