Slapped cheek is a viral illness which is also known as fifth disease or erythema infectiosum and is caused by a virus known as parvovirus B19. It has many of the same sort of symptoms of the flu as other viral illnesses which I’ll describe more here but also a characteristic rash on the cheeks which leaves them looking as if they have been slapped, and also a faint recurring red rash on the body is possible. Continue reading
Meningitis describes an infection of the meninges. The meninges are the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The infection can be viral or bacterial.
Viral infections, whilst very scary, are usually not life threatening. Hospital tests are often required to differentiate between bacterial and viral menigitis and it’s extremely important to seek medical attention if meningitis is suspected as urgent antibiotic treatment is needed for the bacterial form of the disease. Examples of viruses which can cause meningitis are enteroviruses and the herpes simplex virus. Continue reading
Every now and again I am humbled by the strength and power of parents that I come across. I was lucky enough to have been introduced to the website http://www.actformeningitis.ie which was set up by Siobhán and Noel Carroll, who in 2008 sadly lost their precious daughter Aoibhe, aged 4, to meningitis. It is a non-profit organisation which aims to provide support to families who have been affected by meningitis but also to educate and inform other parents about the illness, its symptoms, and causes. Continue reading
Hand foot and mouth disease can affect any age group but is most common in children under ten years of age. They are most likely to catch it in the Summer or Autumn. It should not be confused with foot and mouth disease which is a viral infection which affects animals such as cattle, sheep and pigs.
Hand foot and mouth disease is a viral infection most commonly caused by the following viruses: Continue reading
Unfortunately sore throats are quite common, especially in children, and can occur for several reasons including viral or bacterial infections. One of the main viral infections which causes a sore throat is the common cold with it being responsible for a quarter of all sore throats. Other viruses which less commonly cause a sore throat in children are the flu viruses, the herpes simplex virus, the Epstein Barr virus (glandular fever), and the Adenovirus. Bacterial infections only account for a third of sore throats in children and are mostly due to streptococcal infections. Babies and children are particularly likely to suffer from sore throats as their bodies haven’t yet had time to build up resistance to the infections which commonly cause this nasty symptom. Continue reading
Ear infections in children
An ear infection is inflammation of the middle section of the ear which can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. An ear infection causes fluid to build up behind the ear drum which is what causes the pain. It often occurs after a sore throat, cold or upper respiratory infection as these ailments give way to a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and also make it easy for viral infections to spread to the middle ear. Sore throats, colds, and upper respiratory infections cause inflammation of the passageways between the ear and the throat and as children have smaller eustachian tubes than adults, and less efficient immune systems, it makes them even more susceptible. In fact, 75% of children will experience an ear infection by the time they celebrate their third birthday! Continue reading