5 Types of Viral Infections for Children – Symptoms and Care Instructions

Mild, moderate and severe diseases can be due to a viral infection.

What to do now if you have acute laryngitis, asthma, sinusitis, pediatric tuberculosis or pertussis?

Read more below cause we have outlined care instructions for the latter kind of viral infection.

Viral Infection: Acute Laryngitis

Causes and Symptoms

Acute laryngitis arises from respiratory system conditions such as mycoplasma pneumonia etc. If contracted via a viral infection, the initial stages will resemble a common cold with a lighter fever and cough.

After a period of time, the fever will become worse and the cough will become hoarser. The heart rate will increase, vocal cords will be inflamed and breathing will be short and difficult. When severe, the chest will feel very tight and may lead to vomiting and seizures.

Coughs will become worse in the evenings to the point that phlegm and blood may be coughed up. However, the condition will be insignificant during the daytime. There may be 2-3 days during treatment where the condition worsens considerably during the evenings. Complications may arise such as pneumonia (one of the respiratory diseases), bronchitis, otitis media and cervical lymphadenitis etc. After being cured, it is still possible to become infected the second time. Particularly during winter periods within 2-3 years from the first infection.

Care Instructions

● The symptoms will typically only appear in the evenings. It can be very distressing to see children struggling to breathe, but the majority of cases heal without any difficulty. If the high fever persists, the pulse is around 160 beats per minute. Difficulty of breathing, lips and fingertips turn blue or if during daytime there is acute laryngitis, then go to a hospital for immediate attention.

● Try your best to avoid catching cold at all times. If a cold is contracted, make all possible solutions to make a quick recovery.

● Severe coughs will cause the throat to be painful and feels burned, so it is best to drink lots of water. Use a humidifier to increase room humidity. It is also beneficial when in a very humid shower room to open the window and breathe cold fresh air.

● A quiet atmosphere is the best place to help children breathe more comfortably and allow them to have sufficient rest. Every time there is difficulty breathing, go to a shower room or a place with high humidity for 10 minutes at a time, repeat until the condition improves.

Asthma

Causes and Symptoms

It is easy for the bronchial tube to overreact to irritation and become narrow. Thus, causing breathing to be louder and hoarser. Asthma will flare up in an attack of coughing and wheezing. There will be no fever but symptoms resembling a cold will persist for a long time. This is an allergic condition that is largely passed on genetically and is not easy to cure. Many will turn into a lifelong illness.

Allergic reactions that could cause the bronchial tubes to become inflamed includes the following:

  • pollen
  • dust
  • soot
  • dust mites
  • mold
  • animal fur
  • cold air
  • irritating odor
  • cigarette smoke

All of which are contained in the air we breathe and will lead to inflammation. Shrimp, crabs and anything that smells and tastes fishy are also a cause for irritation. This condition is easier to occur in children under 12 years old. It is also common during times of seasonal change and especially from end of autumn to winter.

This condition will be more severe in the evenings and involve coughing, tight chest and shallow breathing. Breathing will be hoarse and at the same time will expel phlegm. When severe, the mouth will need to be opened, breathing will be difficult. The shoulders do visibly rise and fall, and the patient will not be able to lie down. As age increases, the condition will gradually lessen.

Care Instructions

● A humidifier must be used in order to dilute the phlegm. It is best placed under the child’s legs. Do not blow directly onto the child.

● During times of shallow breathing, raise the head and upper body when lying down to make breathing easier. When having difficulty breathing, immediately seek hospital treatment.

● With asthma, it is important to remove all allergic irritants and avoid catching a cold. The windpipe is easier to become contracted during seasonal change and cold dry weather. Special attention must be paid on to temperature and environmental changes.

● A typical asthma attack is treated with medicine that helps to control breathing such as an inhaler. However, none of these can actually heal asthma. It is of primary importance to find the cause of asthma. So every time there is an asthma attack, take detailed notes. This include the date, time, weather conditions, symptoms, what foods have been eaten, the surrounding environment conditions etc. in order to know the cause of the attack.

● If you have a history of any allergic reactions, it is important to strengthen the immune system.

Sinusitis

Causes and Symptoms

Sinusitis is similar to empyema. There will be severe cough and runny nose, and may continue for up to and over 10 days. This illness comes from the inflammation of the paranasal sinuses on both sides of the nasal bone. It is causing the nasal cavity to be filled with pus. This will typically begin to appear after 24 months old. There will be coughing throughout the day and will be especially severe when lying down or just after waking up in the morning. Severe coughing may cause vomiting. It is more common for the mucus to run back into the nose rather than out of the nose. The area around the eyes will be swollen the whole day and may cause headaches. If sunlight causes pain in the eyes, seek hospital treatment.

If suffering from acute empyema, there will be high fever and cold-like symptoms. The nose will drip yellow mucus. The face and the chin will be painful and in some cases the teeth will be painful. If a cold or rhinitis persists for a long time, paranasal sinuses will have lots of pus. It will be secreted and can lead to lots of complications and turn into empyema.

Care Instructions

● Depending on the child’s age, there will be different complications and different causes. If this is the case, different methods of treatment is likewise expected. Usually it will be treated with a 2-3 week course of antibiotics. The antibiotics must be taken in strict accordance with the doctor’s prescriptions.

● The internal humidity needs to be increased and provide plenty of water. Using body temperature saline solution to place drops into the nose will be beneficial.

● If sinusitis cannot be healed and it persists for 2-3 months, empyema will develop.

● If the condition is chronic, medicine must be taken for 4-6 weeks. In addition, other medicine may be required to reduce the runny nose and inflammation. Surgery must wait until the paranasal sinuses are fully developed which will occur after puberty.

Pediatric Tuberculosis

Causes and Symptoms

This is a chronic infection caused by the tuberculosis bacteria. It's commonly seen in children under 14 years old. In the initial stages, there are no significant symptoms. As the condition develops, the symptoms will gradually appear. The body’s immune system will become weak. Thus, causing the condition to develop rapidly.

The infection is typically passed on from family members. Activities in close proximity such as showering can cause the transmission of the respiratory infection. There are also many that contract the condition through direct contact with the phlegm from an infected person.

Initially, there are no symptoms. Slowly, a fever, cough and lack of appetite will develop causing weight loss. Afterwards, cold-like symptoms will frequently appear. At first, the condition may not be correctly identified as tuberculosis and will only be diagnosed as the condition increases in severity. If there are family members, friends or relatives that are infected and come into close contact with the children, you must consider the possibility that the child subsequently will become infected.

Care Instructions

● If a tuberculosis infection is suspected, go for a hospital examination immediately. Even if you already had vaccinations, infection is still possible so extra care must be given.

● Patients with tuberculosis are easily fatigued, so try not to play too excessively with the child. All activity and play time must be controlled.

● This is also considered as one of the infectious diseases. Avoid allowing the bacteria to enter the body to prevent infection. Increase the immune system. Maintain cleanliness by washing hands with soap.

● Vaccinate with BCG within 4 weeks after birth. This has a 10 year period of effectiveness. Also by this, you can prevent the tuberculosis bacteria entering the body.

● If the vaccine is not administered within 4 weeks after birth, take a tuberculosis examination. If there is no infection, the vaccine can be administered. The vaccination cannot be given, however, whilst there is an existing skin condition, fever or immunity disorder.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Causes and Symptoms

If an infant becomes infected, it will develop into a severe and acute respiratory infection. It is passed on from fluids through sneezing and coughing, making it as an air borne disease. It may cause complications such as otitis media, bronchitis and pneumonia. When severe, it may cause seizure through oxygen deficiency.

When infected with the pertussis bacteria, it will first incubate for 6-20 days. Then, the disease characteristic conditions will appear such as coughing seizures and bronchitis. Initially, it will resemble a cold with a lighter cough, runny nose and slight fever. It will persist for 1-2 weeks, can develop into coughing that may turn the face blackish in color, and will persist for 2-4 weeks. These symptoms last a long time.

Pertussis is a very infectious disease. The most infectious period is 8 weeks after the symptoms show up. After becoming infected once, the body will develop lifetime immunity. Like tetanus, diphtheria and polio, all are not able to receive immunity from the mother, so some newborns are infected with these diseases. If a child under a year old or even less than 6 months old is infected, the condition will turn severe. Thus, it is best to vaccinate as early as possible. The vaccine requires 2-4 weeks to fully take effect and provide immunity.

Care Instructions

● If treatment is delayed, the symptoms will persist for a long time. So it is important to take a course of antibiotics at the earliest opportunity. Especially in children under 1 year old, they are easy to develop breathing difficulties. Allow then an extra attention and care.

● Because coughing may lead to dehydration, the body’s water intake must be supplemented. Try your best to avoid polluted air and frequently get fresh air into the room. Do your best to avoid food and beverages that aggravates the condition.

● The younger the children the more severe the symptoms. Especially with children less than 3 months, if they are infected with pertussis, carefully monitor any coughing fits that may arise.

● In order to thoroughly prevent infection, vaccinate at 2 months old against pertussis (P), tetanus (T) and diphtheria (D), this 3-in-1 vaccine is called DPT. Also at 4, 6 and 18 months after birth, administer a booster. It is important not to miss it.

So there you go! Those are the causes, symptoms and what to do in case someone gets to have a viral infection listed above. You can start off by observing your child once in a while for any unnatural condition.

Stephanie
 

Editor in Babiology, mother of two, highly passionate about sharing the pregnancy care and post delivery care learning with the readers.

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