Infections > Bacterial & Viral Infections

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  • Adenovirus
    Adenoviruses account for about 10% of acute respiratory infections in kids and are a frequent cause of diarrhea.
  • Bronchiolitis
    Bronchiolitis is a common illness of the respiratory tract caused by an infection that affects tiny airways - the bronchioles - that lead to the lungs.
  • Campylobacter Infections
    These bacterial infections can cause diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever. Good hand-washing and food safety habits can prevent them.
  • Cat Scratch Disease
    Cat scratch disease is an infection that causes swelling of the lymph nodes after an animal scratch. Learn about signs and symptoms, prevention, treatment, and more.
  • Cellulitis
    Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and underlying tissues that can affect any area of the body. It begins in an area of broken skin, like a cut or scratch.
  • Chickenpox
    It's most common in kids under age 12, but anyone can get chickenpox. The good news is that a vaccine can prevent most cases.
  • Chlamydia
    Chlamydia is an STD caused by bacteria. It's important to know the symptoms, as treatment can prevent the infection from leading to other health problems.
  • Cold Sores
    Cold sores are small and painful blisters that appear around the mouth, face, or nose. They're very common and, while uncomfortable, usually go away on their own.
  • Common Cold
    With kids getting up to eight colds a year, this contagious viral infection is the most common infectious disease in the United States and the top reason kids visit the doctor and miss school.
  • Coxsackievirus Infections
    Coxsackievirus infections can spread from person to person. In most cases, the viruses cause mild flu-like symptoms, but can lead to more serious infections.
  • Croup
    Croup is characterized by a loud cough that resembles the barking of a seal and difficulty breathing. Most cases of croup are caused by viruses, are mild, and can be treated at home.
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
    Most healthy people who have a cytomegalovirus infection will have few, if any, symptoms. When signs and symptoms do appear, they may be similar to those seen in mononucleosis.
  • Dengue Fever
    You're not at risk of this illness in the U.S., but if you live in or are traveling to a tropical country it's wise to take precautions against this virus.
  • Diphtheria
    Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that's rare in the United States, where health officials immunize kids against it. But it's still common in developing countries where immunizations aren't given routinely.
  • E. Coli
    Undercooked burgers and unwashed produce are among the foods that can harbor E. coli bacteria and lead to infection marked by severe diarrhea. Here's how to protect your family.
  • Ebola
    An outbreak of this deadly virus in Africa has many people concerned: Can the virus spread to other areas? See what the experts have to say.
  • Encephalitis
    Encephalitis is a rare brain inflammation caused by a virus. The best way to avoid encephalitis is to prevent the illnesses that may lead to it.
  • Fever and Taking Your Child's Temperature
    Although it can be frightening when your child's temperature rises, fever itself causes no harm and can actually be a good thing - it's often the body's way of fighting infections.
  • Fifth Disease
    Especially common in kids between the ages of 5 and 15, fifth disease is a viral illness that produces a distinctive red rash on the face, body, arms, and legs.
  • Food Poisoning
    Sometimes, germs can get into food and cause food poisoning. Find out what to do if your child gets food poisoning - and how to prevent it.
  • Genital Herpes
    Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that's usually caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).
  • Genital Warts
    Genital warts, contracted through sexual contact, are caused by certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is one of the most common STDs.
  • Gonorrhea
    Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and experts believe that hundreds of thousands of cases go undetected and untreated because the infection does not always have noticeable symptoms.
  • Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
    This common illness spreads easily in daycare centers and other places where young kids congregate. Learn how to protect your child.
  • Helicobacter pylori
    H. pylori bacteria can cause digestive illnesses, including gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.
  • Hepatitis
    Hepatitis is most commonly caused by one of three viruses. In its early stages, hepatitis may cause flu-like symptoms.
  • Hib Disease (Haemophilus Influenzae Type b)
    Hib disease can cause serious illnesses like meningitis and pneumonia. To protect kids from this bacterial infection, they should receive the Hib vaccine as infants.
  • HIV and AIDS
    Parents who are well informed about how to prevent HIV and who talk with their kids regularly about healthy behaviors, feelings, and sexuality play an important part in HIV/AIDS prevention.
  • Impetigo
    Impetigo is a contagious skin infection that usually produces blisters or sores on the face, neck, hands, and diaper area. It's one of the most common skin infections among kids.
  • Infant Botulism
    Infant botulism can occur when a newborn ingests bacteria that produce toxins inside the body. It's very rare and most babies who do get botulism recover fully.
  • Infections That Pets Carry
    Kids can benefit from the companionship, affection, and relationships they share with pets. But it's important to know how to protect your family from infections carried by pets and other animals.
  • Influenza (Flu)
    Flu symptoms tend to develop quickly and are usually more severe than the typical sneezing and stuffiness of a cold. Yearly vaccination is the best protection against the flu.
  • Is it a Medical Emergency?
    Should you head straight for the emergency room when your child is hurt? Different problems require different levels of care, and you have many options.
  • Listeria Infections
    Listeriosis, a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with a bacterium, primarily affects pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. Some simple precautions can protect your family from infection.
  • Lyme Disease
    Lyme disease can affect the skin, joints, nervous system, and other organ systems. If diagnosed quickly and treated with antibiotics, Lyme disease in kids is almost always treatable.
  • Mad Cow Disease
    Mad cow disease has been in the headlines - but what is it, and how likely is it that your family will be affected by it?
  • Measles
    Measles, best known for its typical skin rash, is very rare, and a child who is properly vaccinated is extremely unlikely to contract the disease.
  • Meningitis
    Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord) is treatable, but can be serious. So it's important to know the symptoms and get prompt diagnosis and treatment.
  • Middle Ear Infections
    Ear infections are common among kids and, often, painful. Find out what causes them and how they're treated.
  • Mononucleosis
    Mononucleosis - or "mono" - is an infection that produces flu-like symptoms, and usually goes away on its own in a few weeks with the help of plenty of fluids and rest.
  • MRSA
    MRSA is a type of bacteria that the usual antibiotics can't tackle anymore. Simple precautions can help protect your kids from becoming infected.
  • Mumps
    Mumps is a virus that can lead to swelling and pain in the salivary glands, along with fever, loss of appetite, and fatigue. With the help of the mumps vaccine, it's preventable.
  • Osteomyelitis
    Osteomyelitis is a bone infection caused by germs entering the body's tissues through an open wound. The easiest way to prevent it is to practice good hygiene.
  • Peritonsillar Abscess
    Older kids and teens with tonsilitis sometimes develop this painful abscess, a pus-filled tissue at the back of the mouth.
  • Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
    Pinkeye, or conjunctivitis, is the most common eye infection affecting kids. Learn more about pinkeye and how to prevent it from spreading.
  • Polio
    Polio is a contagious, historically devastating disease that was virtually eliminated from the Western hemisphere in the second half of the 20th century thanks to widespread vaccination.
  • Rabies
    Rabies is a serious infection of the nervous system that is caused by a virus. Rabies is usually transmitted by a bite from an infected animal.
  • Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Related Conditions
    Recurrent urinary tract infections can cause kidney damage if left untreated, especially in kids under age 6. Here's how to recognize the symptom of UTIs and get help for your child.
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus
    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of this contagious infection.
  • Reye Syndrome
    Reye syndrome, an extremely rare but serious illness that can affect the brain and liver, occurs most commonly in kids recovering from a viral infection. Cases have dropped dramatically since the finding of a link between the illness and aspirin use in children.
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
    Rocky Mountain spotted fever is an infection transmitted by ticks. Find out more about it - including how to prevent it.
  • Roseola
    Roseola is a viral illness that usually affects kids between 6 months and 3 years old. Learn its signs and symptoms when to call the doctor.
  • Rotavirus
    Rotavirus infection affects most kids and is one of the most common causes of diarrhea. A vaccine to prevent it is now recommended for all kids.
  • Rubella (German Measles)
    Rubella infection, or German measles, is a generally mild disease in kids that can be prevented with vaccination. Its primary medical danger is to pregnant women because it can affect developing babies.
  • Salmonella Infections
    Salmonellosis is a foodborne illness caused by the bacteria salmonella. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, and headache.
  • Scarlet Fever
    Scarlet fever is an illness with a characteristic rash that is caused by a strep infection. Learn important facts about scarlet fever in this article for parents, including how to recognize its symptoms.
  • Shigella Infections
    Shigella are bacteria that can infect the digestive tract and cause a wide range of symptoms, from diarrhea, cramping, vomiting, and nausea, to more serious complications and illnesses.
  • Shingles
    Shingles isn't very common in kids - it mostly affects older people. Find out what causes shingles, symptoms to watch for, and what to do if your child has it.
  • Sinusitis
    Sinus infections, or sinusitis, are common and easily treated.
  • Smallpox
    If you're wondering what smallpox is and why people sometimes worry about it, get the facts here.
  • Staph Infections
    When skin is punctured or broken for any reason, staph bacteria can enter the wound and cause an infection. But good hygiene can prevent many staph infections. Learn more.
  • Strep Throat
    Strep throat is a common cause of sore throat in kids and teens. It usually requires treatment with antibiotics, but improves in a few days.
  • Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa)
    Swimmer's ear is an infection of the ear canal caused by many types of bacteria or fungi. Find out how to prevent it.
  • Syphilis
    Syphilis is an STD that, if it goes untreated, can lead to serious health problems.
  • Tetanus
    Tetanus (also called lockjaw) is a preventable disease that affects the muscles and nerves, usually due to a contaminated wound.
  • Tonsillitis
    Tonsillitis, an inflammation of the tonsils caused by an infection, causes sore throat, fever, swollen glands in the neck, and trouble swallowing.
  • Toxic Shock Syndrome
    Toxic shock syndrome is a serious but uncommon bacterial infection. TSS is a medical emergency - symptoms include sudden high fever, a faint feeling, diarrhea, headache, and muscle aches.
  • Toxic Synovitis
    Read about this temporary inflammation of the hip joint that affects young children.
  • Tuberculosis
    Tuberculosis (TB) is making a comeback in the United States today - particularly among the homeless, those in prison, and those rendered susceptible because of HIV infection.
  • Urinary Tract Infections
    Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in kids, but often can be prevented. Early detection and treatment are key.
  • Vaginal Yeast Infections
    Vaginal yeast infections are common among growing girls, and can cause some pain and discomfort. They usually clear up quickly with proper medical treatment.
  • Warts
    Many of us have had a wart somewhere on our bodies at some time. But other than being a nuisance, most warts are harmless.
  • West Nile Virus
    The threat of West Nile virus has made getting a mosquito bite a cause for concern. What is West Nile virus, and what can you do to prevent it?
  • What Is "PANS"?
    Find out what the experts have to say.
  • Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
    Pertussis is characterized by severe coughing spells that end in a whooping sound when the person breathes in. It can be prevented with the pertussis vaccine, part of the DTaP immunization.
  • Yersiniosis
    Yersiniosis is an uncommon infection caused by the consumption of undercooked meat products, unpasteurized milk, or water contaminated by the bacteria.
 

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