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Infectious Childhood Diseases To Watch Out For

Written by Courteney

Posted on April 30, 2016 at 10:44 pm

  1. Impetigo – Impetigo is a very contagious skin infection that is most often contracted by children, often spreading through groups of children at day-cares and schools. It usually starts as facial sores around the mouth that become crusty upon eruption. It can spread to other parts of the body, and in rare cases develops into a more serious form called ecthyma which burrows into deeper layers of the skin and causes ulcers. Impetigo is treated with antibiotics and children are usually expected to stay home from school so as not to further the spread of the infection.
  2. Kawasaki Disease – is a rare but serious condition that predominantly effects children under 5 years of age. It presents as high and lengthy fever, swelling of the extremities, chapped, red lips and a rash. The symptoms can resemble those of allergies, however if the condition goes undetected it could eventually lead to heart damage or even death, so if your child is experiencing symptoms such as these, be sure to get him or her checked right away and ask your doctor about testing for Kawasaki.
  3. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) – is the leading cause of acute lung afflictions like bronchitis and pneumonia among babies. The symptoms are similar to those of the flu including congestion, a fever, a cough or wheezing. 2% of small children will develop such serious symptoms they will require hospitalization.
  1. Scarlet Fever – is caused by the same group of bacteria that is responsible for Strep throat. The two infections don’t always go together but can occur simultaneously. Scarlet fever can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms in children including the signature “scarlet colored” rash on various parts of the body, a coated tongue, fever, swollen glands, the chills, aches, vomiting or nausea. While scarlet fever used to be a dreaded and life-threatening disease before the availability of antibiotics, today treatment is as simple as a course of medication.
  2. Whooping Cough – Also known as pertussis, this contagious affliction can be serious, especially for babies (half of the babies who contract it become hospitalized). Early symptoms mimic the flu, then progress to include apnea (pauses in breathing), a bad cough, vomiting, exhaustion and paroxysms (coughing fits) followed by a signature “whooping” noise when the child tries to regain their breath. Luckily the vaccine brings these symptoms down to a minimum or can prevent a child entirely from catching pertussis, so be sure to keep your child’s vaccinations up to date.
  3. Fifth Disease – is caused by parvovirus B19 and can cause an itchy skin rash all over the body, fever, runny nose and headache. It has been known to cause joint pain mainly in women who contract the disease. It can cause complications in rare cases such as anemia in the immunocompromised. It is spread through respiratory secretions, and usually resolves itself within a couple weeks. However, if symptoms are not going away you should talk to your doctor or one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians for treatment options.

Prevention

To avoid these troublesome afflictions from effecting your child or family, be sure to instill proper hygiene techniques in your little one, such as washing hands frequently with warm water and soap for the length of two run-throughs of the “Happy Birthday” song. Encourage your child not to put their hands near their face or in their mouths when they are in public. The best preventative measure against many childhood illnesses is to make sure your child is up to date on their immunizations and vaccinations. If your child does become ill with any of these conditions, keep them home to recover so they don’t infect other children.

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