Pediatric Viral Infections Overview
Most viral infections, from sore throats to colds, are not serious, and most children who catch a viral infection get better without prescriptive treatment. In many cases, your WellStar pediatrician should be able to diagnose whether your child has a viral infection based on symptoms – but sometimes, laboratory tests might be necessary to differentiate between viral and bacterial infection. Most viral infections result in fever, achiness and discomfort, with physicians treating the symptoms with symptomatic treatment which might include pain control and fever reducers
However, parents should also be aware of the dangers associated with some viruses like influenza, also known as the flu. Unlike most viral respiratory infections, the flu can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in some individuals. The flu is generally contracted in the same airborne manner as the common cold.
Typically, several symptoms are present when your child is struggling with a viral infection, The symptoms might include:
- Temperature: a fever (100.4°F (38°C) measured rectally; 100°F (37.8°C) orally; 99°F (37.2°C) under the arm) is one of the first signs that your child has a viral infection. However, fever alone cannot be used to identify a viral infection, since it also is a key sign of a bacterial infection. See our Fever page.
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting: These are typical if a viral infection is in the stomach or gastrointestinal tract.
- Coughing: Indicates there might be congestion.
- Runny nose and/or sore throat: Such symptoms usually occur when infection is present.
- Swollen glands in the neck often accompany a sore throat.
- Headache and/or body aches: Aches often accompany a viral infection.
Know the FACTS to Recognize Flu
- (F) Fever
- (A) Aches
- (C) Chills
- (T) Tiredness
- (S) Sudden Symptoms