Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Cara Howard | 2010/08/08


Cough with fever

My little girl is 16 months old. In the last 4 months, she has been on antibiotics 4 times, every time for ear or throat infections. She gets better while on the medication, then falls ill again as soon as the meds are finished. She has now developed a bad case of thrush, a side effect of the antibiotics, I would assume. This has cleared up using nyastatin, but now she is sick again with fever as high as 39 degrees C, and alot of coughing. Sometimes with phlegm, sometimes a couging fit that makes her gag. I have no idea what the next step is. Do I take her to the doctor yet again only for her to prescribe antibiotics again? Can I insist on a microbacterial test so that they at least administer the correct antibiotic? HOw do they take blood from a 16 month-old? Please help.

Expert's Reply



Your little toddler has had recurrent upper and lower respiratory infections over the past 4 months and now has a high fever and a bad cough. So it is very probable that she has another chest infection. This kind of problem is common in preschool children in the winter months, but especially in children who attend a creche. If your little girl is at a creche she should be taken out as she cannot be on antibiotics and medicines so often.She recently got thrush as a consequence of her last antibiotic.From your description of her cough she may now have an illness which is similar to whooping cough. This is called 'parapertussis'. It is important to treat this illness early otherwise the cough may become more severe and last for 3 months or longer. So I am afraid it is back to the paediatrician, but inform her that the probable diagnosis is whooping cough so that she can start your daughter on the correct treatment.You should also keep your daughter on probiotics through the winter months and on Scotts Emulsion to boost her immunity.

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