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Childhood-diseases

Question
Posted by: MANDY | 2007/08/06

Q.

mystery viruses

Hi Dr nowadays it seems that it is harder for Dr's to diagnose a problem and everything is put down to a virus. Are there many more viruses about that we didnt have in previous years.
My son 11 was very ill last week - headache, fever of 40, and very fatigued and ill. the GP could not estalish what it was - perhaps meningitis, then he though tonsillitis - it took a few days and he recovered. After the 2nd day he had a bit of stiffness in his neck but not severe, no vomiting.
I have read up on viral encephalitis and feel perhaps he had this. I am just concerned because everything is put down to a virus.
what are your thoughts on this?

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

This sounds like a viral meningitis from your description. The symptoms are the same as for a bacterial meningitis but the illness is much less severe and the child gets better by himself after a day or two. There are not more viruses around than in previous generations, only we now can recognize viral illnesses better and childhood immunizations have eliminated most of the previously very dangerous illnesses of childhood.

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