Virus Infections for Babies – Care and Instructions

What possible infections from a virus can our children get?

As a mother, it would be worrisome if we get to know that our child has some kind of infection.

Listed below are virus carrier infections that children may have, as well as the causes and symptoms for each and what to do in case.

Infections from a Virus

Urinary Tract Infections

Causes and Symptoms

Urine passes through the urinary tract, urethra and kidneys and this whole area are inflamed during infection. Thus it is called a ‘urinary tract infection’.


For children, the majority starts with kidney and urinary tract infection and upper urethra infection. This may be because the urinary tract has an abnormality so the urine is not possible to be completely expelled.

Sometimes all of the urine will flow backwards toward the bladder. It is also possible that because the distance between the urinary tract and the kidney is so short, which is why the immunity against bacteria and virus is lower.

As a result, there is a higher chance of infection. Those more susceptible to urinary tract infections include adults, boys and girls under 5 years old.

If a newborn or infants develop a urinary tract infection, there will be fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. If these conditions persist, newborns will develop jaundice. While the kidneys and urinary tract are still developing, complications may appear with symptoms that are separate from the original condition. For no apparent reason, there will be a sudden fever of around 39 degrees. It will develop and quickly recede. Defecation will be painful and more frequent. The underwear will have a urine odor, will turn a muddy color and have an unpleasant odor. If this condition turns into chronic phase, the body weight will increase abnormally.

Care Instructions

● It is often that in some cases, young children will not develop a concrete set of symptoms. Even if it is already in a chronic stage. The symptoms still will also be unclear. Typically, this illness can only be diagnosed through medical examination. If children under 5 years old have an unexplained fever, take them for a urinary examination. This is to ascertain whether or not there is a urinary tract infection.

● When an infection has been confirmed, it is best to avoid solely taking treatment directly relating to the symptoms. You must also resort for a kidney ultrasound. A reverse urine flow check to confirm the urinary tract has no abnormalities. If this step is neglected, it may lead to kidney failure.

Angina (Swollen Glands)

Causes and Symptoms

Caused by the Coxsackie group A virus infection during a summer cold. Prevalent during late spring and summer months. There will be a high fever accompanied by swelling of the mouth. This is a very infectious condition. The virus will incubate for 3-5 days and then suddenly turn into a fever of 39 degrees. The mucous membrane in the mouth will develop ulcers. During fever, the area around the uvula will turn red and develop small grey ulcers. It will be accompanied by severe pain in the throat. The roof of the mouth will also develop small yellow ulcers.

The area surrounding the ulcers will be red and begins at 1mm in size, but after 2-3 days it will increase to 2-3 mm. If the symptoms persist, the wound will ulcerate. Due to the pain, salivation will increase and have a bad odor. After 2-4 days the fever will reduce and the ulcers will slowly cure over a period of one week.

Care Instructions

● Although no special treatment is necessary to heal this condition, it is best to receive treatment within two weeks. For severe pain or persistent fever, antipyretics can be used to lower the body temperature.

● When the ulcer bursts, they are extremely painful. It is accompanied with throat pain and causes swallowing with great difficulty. Eat soft and easy to digest foods such as porridge or rice milk. Do not eat hot or cold foods. When the condition is severe and no food can be ingested, take some cool water.

● As the body’s hydration level drop significantly during fever, water and food must be taken to prevent dehydration. The most infectious period is 4-5 days before and after the rash. During this time, special attention is a must to disinfect towels and all utensils used by the ailing child.

Laryngitis

Causes and Symptoms

The larynx is the most important part of the respiratory system for speech. It is located in an area around where sound is produced in the throat. After the air has passed through the nose or mouth and entered the body, the air then passes through the larynx. The inflammation of the tissue surrounding the vocal cord is called laryngitis. The symptoms typically resemble a common cold. The voice will temporarily become croaky. Apart from a viral infection, this can also be caused by bacteria, allergy and calcium deficiency causing the muscle to become weak and develop sickness.

Aside from the change on the voice, there will be a very coarse cough. It will be more noticeable in the evenings rather than daytime. The condition will especially be more severe at dawn, causing the windpipe to narrow and emit a metallic sound when breathing. Breathing will also be very tiring and difficult. Even during treatment after 2-3 days, the condition will worsen during the evening. At the beginning stages, you feel abnormalities in the throat and uvula. Swallowing food becomes difficult and has a slight fever.

Care Instructions

● When the cough turns severe, the mucous membrane in the mouth becomes swollen and breathing suddenly becomes difficult. If this happens during night time even if it is in the middle of the night, it is best to seek hospital treatment immediately.

● Try your best not to let the mucous membrane in the throat to become too dry. When at home, make all possibilities to have frequent use of a humidifier. This will help the baby feel more comfortable. Keeping them not to cry, as crying aggravates the condition of their throat ailment.

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

Causes and Symptoms

When the seasons change, it is also an easy time to become infected. Symptoms on upper respiratory tract infection are very similar to the opening stages of a common cold. It causes many people to delay treatment. This can be caused by many different types of virus, or even infections from multiple strains of bacteria. Children with a weak immune system are easily infected. Infections from virus come easily especially during windy weather conditions, varied change of temperature, and even also during excessive playing, fatigue and exhaustion.

For those conditions which are caused by a viral infection, the incubation period lasts for 2-3 days. Symptoms usually are stuffy and runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat. There will also be headaches, reaching the most serious degree of pain after 2-4 days. Severity of fevers may lead to complications such as febrile seizures (one type of brain infections), otitis media, sinus infection, lymph gland infection or one of the respiratory diseases which is pneumonia. If there is a continuous runny nose and cough for 1-2 weeks or a cough that persists longer than 2 weeks, go and seek medical consultation at the hospital.

Care Instructions

● If this is a type of common cold, there is no special medication to treat the condition. Therefore, it is only possible to treat according to the symptoms exhibited in each case.

● If coughing is so severe that pneumonia is suspected or if blood is coughed up, it is best to go for immediate consultation and seek medical treatment.

● During times of high common cold infections, be careful going outdoors and try to avoid going to crowded places. When returning home, remember the basic principles of washing hands and brushing teeth. Get plenty of rest especially when feeling tired.

● The indoor temperature is most suitable around 22-24 degrees with humidity of 50-60%, ensuring that the temperature is stable and warm.

Epidemic Mumps

Causes and Symptoms

This condition is caused by the mumps virus mixed with the saliva and leads to infection. Swelling of the salivary gland is accompanied with a high fever of around 40 degrees. Children who attend nursery are most susceptible to this illness, and rates of infection are higher between winter and spring.

The most infectious period of the condition is 7 days before the symptoms appear and 9 days after they disappear. There is an incubation period of around 2-3 weeks. It will be followed by a 40 degree fever, headache, and the swelling of one or both earlobes. The pain may increase to the point where the mouth is unable to open having a hard time to eat.

The most severe swelling will occur 3-4 days after the symptoms show. There will also be a lack of appetite, muscle pain and vomiting for around 2 days. Sometimes the boys will cry due to painful testicles, and girls will cry due to pain in the lower abdomen. It is also possible that this condition can lead to infertility in males when they grow up. Children are at a small risk of complications such as hearing impairment, meningitis, orchitis and duodenitis.

Care Instructions

● The area under the chin will swell for around 1 week and heal without complications. This stage must be endured in order for the body’s immunity to develop. It is possible that male children could be left infertile. To avoid this, it is best to administer vaccinations 12 months after birth. If infected by epidemic mumps, there will be a period of around one week from the beginning of the fever when the fever recedes. This is also the most infectious period. Do your best to avoid going outdoors, stay indoors and get plenty of rest.

● Apply a cold compress to the swollen area and brush the teeth to maintain oral hygiene. If it is difficult to eat, feed easy to digest foods such as porridge and drink plenty of water to prevent the mouth from drying up.

● If the children vomit, have stomachache or headache, seek medical attention immediately. Although there are few cases, it is still possible for this disease to spread to the brain which can cause encephalitis and meningitis. If there is vomiting with headache, seizures or evidence of delirium, seek emergency medical treatment.

Septicemia

Causes and Symptoms

Septicemia is the condition where bacteria mixed with blood multiplies and poisons the blood stream that leads to infect the whole body. It is identified by sudden shivers, fevers and the fluctuation of body temperatures during the day.

It is largely believed that it develops from other conditions such as otitis media, purulent skin disease, decubitus, lung diseases, pyelitis, teeth cavity and cholecystitis. There is no certain way to know how the bacteria entered the body though. Along with sudden shivers, there will be joint pain, headache, lack of energy, weak pulse, shallow breathing, and high fever. When more severe, one may lose consciousness.

Care Instructions

● It is most important to determine the bacteria which caused the infection. Regardless of how insignificant the inflammation appears, all instances require treatment with antibiotics and antiseptics. It is also a good method of prevention to simultaneously treat the symptoms caused by the bacteria.

● If the body both shivers and has high fever, seek urgent medical attention.

Final Say

We should observe our children once in a while to know whether something is wrong. Symptoms of infections caused by a virus may appear later on so we should take precautionary measures and observe proper hygiene.

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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