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SUMMER VIRUSES   Many different viruses can infect your child, especially during the summer. While many of these illnesses must take their coarse, there are things you can do to help your child feel more comfortable.

Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils. This disease is usually caused by one of two types of germs. Bacteria are one type of germ. You can see these germs under the microscope. An example of a bacterial throat infection is strep. These infections will respond to antibiotics. Viruses are the other type of germ that causes infection. These germs are too small to see under a microscope. This type of tonsillitis does not respond to antibiotics and usually must take its coarse. There is symptomatic treatment that will help your child feel more comfortable. Salt water gargles, tylenol, and lozenges or mouth sprays may help.

Coxsackie virus causes Hand-Foot-Mouth (H-F-M) disease. In 1947, investigators first discovered this virus in the town of Coxsackie, New York. There are many types of this virus, each causing different diseases. Coxsackie A16 causes H-F-M disease. This is a benign illness, without complications and usually occurs during the summer. There is a short incubation period (4-7 days). The illness usually starts with a mild fever, loss of appetite, malaise, and frequently with mouth sores. One to two days later the rash appears. The mouth sores usually involve the tongue, buccal mucosa and posterior palate. They are usually ulcerative and average about 4-8 mm in size. Soon a rash appears on the body, usually on the hands and feet and sometimes on the buttocks. The rash usually lasts 3-5 days. This illness is contagious and you should keep your child away from other children for 4-7 days after the onset of illness. This virus can cause other illnesses, such as the common cold, a 1-2 day fever and/or a generalized rash. All of these illnesses are not serious, self-limiting and requires only symptomatic treatment.

Roseola is a virus that causes very high temperature for several days which quickly becomes normal. Once your child becomes afebrile, a rash blossoms. This rash lasts for a day or two. Children between 6 and twenty four months get this virus most often but older children are susceptible. The incubation period is 5 to 15 days. This illness can occur throughout the year but is most common in the spring to summer.

There are many other viruses that your child may develop this summer. Your child may develop cold like symptoms, such as a runny nose, congestion and cough. There may be no other symptoms other then fever and irritability. In any event, these viruses are usually not serious and last only 3 to five days. You should give your child symptomatic treatment. Fever reducers, in the correct dose and frequency, and fluids will help. If the illness lasts more then a few days, you may wish me to see him. Also, if your child is an infant, please bring him in sooner.

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