The vocal cords, windpipe, and breathing tubes can be infected with a number of different viruses. The lungs, on the other hand, can be infected with either bacteria or viruses. All of these infections can cause various combinations of fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Although it is not always easy to figure out whether bacteria or viruses are causing a child to cough, there are some features of viral infections that are clearly different from bacterial infections. In this chapter we will help you to understand these differences.
Jennifer is a thin, eight-year-old who has been in good
In February Jennifer isn't herself. She doesn't want to
play with her friends and prefers instead to lie on the couch
and watch television. Her temperature is 103°F. After three
days with fever, Jennifer is not eating or drinking very well.
Also, she seems to be breathing very rapidly. In fact, her
mother has never seen her quite so sick. On the fourth day
of Jennifer's illness her mother makes an appointment to
see the doctor.
When the doctor walks into the room, Jennifer is lying
quietly on the examining table. Jennifer's lips are dry and
she is breathing rapidly. She also has a weak cough, but there
is no congestion and no fluid draining from Jennifer's nose.
Her temperature is 104°F. The doctor listens to Jennifer's
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Publication information: Book title: Breaking the Antibiotic Habit: A Parent's Guide to Coughs, Colds, Ear Infections, and Sore Throats. Contributors: Paul A. Offit - Author, Bonnie Fass-Offit - Author, Louis M. Bell - Author. Publisher: Wiley. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 90.
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