In the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists found that during the worst outbreaks in Japan, the wind blew in from an agricultural region of Northeast China. Kids came down with the disease within six hours to two days of the shift in winds (and fortunes), suggesting that it isn’t some sort of infectious disease, as has been theorized. If it were infectious, the researchers wrote, they wouldn’t expect such a quick incubation period, and the kids would be unlikely to come down with symptoms at roughtly the same time, as has been observed.
When sampling the air during flights over the region, scientists detected species of the fungus Candida blown in on the wind. Candida known to cause several common human infections and causes symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease in mice, Science Magazine noted. The scientists don’t know for sure if this is the cause, but they think that it is likely something coming from this region.