Infectious Disease

Infectious diseases are a common problem in every family's life. They can cause great disruptions and endless stress. We try to evaluate each child based upon any underlying chronic condition, present symptoms and any community illnesses. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Here are some common infections we see.

  • Upper Respiratory Infections (URI, Common Cold) are caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract. They enter via the eyes, nose or mouth. They can cause viral conjunctivitis, sore throat, headaches and fever. Most of these symptoms last about 3-5 days. The virus will then work its way into the lungs and cause cough. The cough can last from 5-10 days. As these infections are viral, antibiotics are of no use. Symptomatic treatment is with ibuprofen or acetaminophen, cough and cold preparations. If fever is greater than 104, lasts greater than 5 days, or if your child appears very ill or dehydrated, she should be seen.


  • Ear Infections or Otitis Media are often secondary to upper respiratory infections. The fluid in the middle ear from the URI can become infected with bacteria. Often the symptoms of this will include ear pain, fever, waking at night and occasionally ear discharge. If your child has these symptoms, treat liberally with ibuprofen or acetaminophen and call us for an appointment.


  • Coxsackie Virus is a very common virus that effects the mouth and throat. Often children will present with fever, drooling and pain with swallowing. Children will often have blisters on their hands and feet, and small white ulcerations usually on the soft palate of the mouth (the back roof of the mouth). Hence the other name for this disease is Hand, Foot, Mouth disease. It is caused by a virus and antibiotics will not treat Coxsackie virus. Treatment is symptomatic. Treat pain with ibuprofen or acetaminophen and encourage fluids.


  • Sinusitis is an infection in the sinuses. Often a cold can mimic some of the symptoms of sinusitis. Symptoms to watch for include facial or dental pain, headache behind the eyes and chronic runny nose lasting greater than 10-14 days. Please call for an appointment if you develop these symptoms.


  • Streptococcal Pharyngitits (Strep Throat) is a bacterial infection of the throat, usually affecting the tonsils. The most common symptoms are high fever, headache, sore throat, and belly ache. Sometimes you may notice white patches or exudates on the tonsils. Initial treatment includes ibuprofen, acetaminophen and fluids. Please call our office to be seen, cultured and placed on antibiotics.


  • Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) is when the eye is red and has discharge. There are many different causes of pink eyes. Traumatic conjunctivitis follows trauma to the eye and tends to be painful. Allergic conjunctivitis is from pollens or other allergens causing a very itchy eye. Viral conjunctivitis is caused from viruses and tends to give a clear discharge. Viral conjunctivitis can be treated with a warm washcloth. Bacterial conjunctivitis usually gives a yellow-green discharge which will re-accumulate shortly after being wiped away. Only bacterial and some traumatic infections need to be treated with topical antibiotics.


  • Lyme disease is a bacterial illness caused by the bite of an infected deer tick. If your child is found to have a tick, don’t panic. Reassure your child and calmly remove the tick. The best method is to grab the tick as close to the mouthparts as possible and pull slowly and steadily. Don't be concerned if the body breaks off and mouth parts are left. If this happens, place some antibiotic ointment on the area and call our office the next day and we would gladly assist you in removal. If you believe the tick to be a deer tick, then you should monitor your child over the next three weeks for flu-like symptoms or a target-like rash. If your child does develop these symptoms, call our office during regular office hours and we will make an appointment. We will discuss obtaining labs. Keep in mind it is often beneficial to wait and get labs later because the body needs to develop an immune response for the lab result to be accurate. If necessary, we will start antibiotics at that time. Lyme is very easily treatable with the correct antibiotics.

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