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Infectious Diseases

Bronchiolitis and Your Young Child
Bronchiolitis is a common respiratory illness among infants. One of its symptoms is trouble breathing, which can be scary for parents and young children. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about bronchiolitis, causes, signs and symptoms, how to treat it, and how to prevent it.
Common Childhood Infections
Most infections are caused by germs called viruses and bacteria. While you may be able to keep germs from spreading, you can't always keep your child from getting sick. It is important for parents to know how to keep their children healthy and what to do when they get sick. Read on to learn more from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about common childhood infections—signs and symptoms, treatments, and when to call your child's doctor.
Flu, The
The flu (influenza) is an illness caused by a virus. It affects the whole body. This is not the same as what we often call the “stomach flu.”
Know the Facts About HIV and AIDS
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). While there is no cure for HIV, early diagnosis and treatment are very effective at keeping people healthy. In addition, there are things you can do to prevent getting HIV. Read on to learn more about HIV and AIDS and how to keep you and your children healthy.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Bedbugs
Small insects that feed on human blood by biting through the skin. They are most active between 2:00 and 5:00 am. They can travel 10 to 15 feet to feed and go without feeding for up to 6 months. They cause itchy bites. Bedbugs are not known to transmit or spread disease.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Bites (Human and Animal)
Biting is very common among young children but usually does not lead to serious infectious disease issues. If the skin is broken, bacteria introduced into the wound can cause a tissue infection that needs to be treated by a health professional. If blood is drawn into the mouth of the biter or if the biter breaks the skin and has bleeding gums or mouth sores, blood-borne disease could be a concern. Hepatitis B virus, HIV, and hepatitis C virus are examples of blood-borne disease-causing germs. The risk of transmission of these viruses, however, is very low in child care and school settings. For HIV, no known transmission in a child care setting or school has occurred.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Boil/Abscess/Cellulitis
These are bacterial infections of the skin that usually begin from a scratch or bug bite and progress to a red nodule that fills with pus. Boils are superficial infections with a thin layer of skin over fluid; abscesses are generally larger and deeper with redness and painful swelling over an area filled with pus. Cellulitis is an infection within the skin and the area just beneath it; the skin is red and tender. The area of cellulitis can spread quickly.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Campylobacter
A type of bacteria that can cause infection of the intestines
Managing Infectious Diseases—Chickenpox (Varicella-Zoster Infections)
An illness with rash and fever caused by the varicella-zoster virus
Managing Infectious Diseases—Clostridium difficile (Also Called “C diff”)
A spore- and toxin-forming bacteria that causes diarrhea
Managing Infectious Diseases—Cryptosporidiosis
An intestinal infection caused by a parasite (Cryptosporidium hominis or C parvum)
Managing Infectious Diseases—Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection
A viral infection common in children (Up to 70% of normal children aged 1 to 3 years in group care settings excrete cytomegalovirus [CMV].)
Managing Infectious Diseases—Dental Caries (Early Childhood Caries, Tooth Decay, or Cavities)
Early childhood caries (commonly called cavities) is the most common chronic disease of childhood. Caries are the result of an infectious disease process that damages tooth structure and makes holes in the teeth. The consequences of early childhood caries are much more than unattractive teeth. Early childhood caries can cause severe pain, speech difficulty, and poor nutrition and can spread to cause serious infections. Treatment for caries can require expensive dental services, and younger children often require general anesthesia and treatment in the operating room.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Diarrhea
An illness in which someone develops more watery and frequent stools than is typical for that person. Diarrhea can be caused by changes in diet, such as drinking excessive amount of fruit juice, eating more than the usual amounts of certain foods, and the use of some medications. Diarrhea also can be the result of a problem with the intestines, such as inability to absorb nutrients or allergy to foods. Infections with some viruses, bacteria, and parasites can cause diarrhea.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Diarrhea Caused by Specific Types of E coli (Escherichia coli)
Although many types of Escherichia coli (E coli) bacteria live normally in the intestinal tract, at least 5 types are known to cause diarrhea. Shiga toxin–producing E coli has caused numerous outbreaks in group care settings. Infections with Shiga toxin–producing E coli may be associated with other severe problems, such as bleeding from irritation of the bowel, kidney damage, and blood cell damage, also known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. Other diarrhea-producing types are enteropathogenic E coli, enteroinvasive E coli, enteroaggregative E coli, and in children and families who travel, enterotoxigenic E coli.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Ear Infection
There are 2 common types of ear infections: otitis media (middle ear infection) and otitis externa (swimmer’s ear). Most ear infections of young children occur in the middle ear.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Fever
Fever is an elevation of the normal body temperature. Fever is most commonly caused by a viral or bacterial infection, but it can be a sign of illnesses not caused by infections, such as exercising in a very warm environment, rheumatoid arthritis, a reaction to a vaccine or medication, or cancer.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Fifth Disease (Human Parvovirus B19)
Common viral infection with rash occurring 1 to 3 weeks after infection
Managing Infectious Diseases—Giardiasis
An intestinal infection caused by a parasite (Giardia intestinalis)
Managing Infectious Diseases—Haemophilus influenzae Type b (Hib)
Depends on the site of infection. May include
Managing Infectious Diseases—Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease
A common set of symptoms associated with viral infections that are most frequently seen in the summer and fall. Despite its scary name, this illness generally is mild. Most commonly caused by coxsackievirus A16 and enterovirus 71.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Hepatitis A Infection
Fecal-oral route: Contact with feces of children who are infected. This generally involves an infected child contaminating his own fingers, then touching an object that another child touches. The child who touched the contaminated surface then puts her fingers into her own mouth or another person’s mouth.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Hepatitis B Infection
Yes, if a child with known hepatitis B exhibits any of the following:
Managing Infectious Diseases—Herpes Simplex (Cold Sores)
In early childhood, herpes simplex virus most commonly causes blister-like sores in the mouth and around the lips and on skin that is in contact with the mouth, such as a sucked thumb or finger.
Managing Infectious Diseases—HIV/AIDS
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection affects the body in a wide variety of ways. In the most severe infection, the virus progressively destroys the body’s immune system, causing a condition called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). With early testing and appropriate treatment, children in the United States rarely develop the severe symptoms of HIV infection.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Impetigo
Impetigo is a common skin infection caused by streptococcal or staphylococcal bacteria.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Influenza
A contagious disease caused by a group of respiratory viruses called influenza viruses
Managing Infectious Diseases—Lice (Pediculosis Capitis)
Yes, at the end of the program or school day.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Lyme Disease (and Other Tick-borne Diseases)
An infection caused by a type of bacteria, known as spirochetes, that is transmitted when particular types of ticks attach to a person’s skin and feed on that person’s blood. These ticks are very small, only a few millimeters (about the size of a freckle); the ticks that transit Lyme disease are found mainly in the Northeast and Midwest and on the West Coast.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Measles
Yes.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Meningitis
An infectious disease causing swelling or inflammation of the tissue covering the spinal cord and brain.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Molluscum Contagiosum
A skin disease caused by a virus, somewhat similar to warts
Managing Infectious Diseases—Mononucleosis
A disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus; the illness is commonly known as mono.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Mosquito-borne Diseases
Through the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile disease may also be spread by blood transfusion and organ donation.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Mouth Sores
Herpes simplex virus, canker sores, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and thrush
Managing Infectious Diseases—Mumps
A viral illness with swelling of one or more of the salivary glands
Managing Infectious Diseases—Norovirus
A virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting. A leading cause of diarrhea in the United States.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
Inflammation (ie, redness, swelling) of the thin tissue covering the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids
Managing Infectious Diseases—Pinworms
Small, white, threadlike worms (0.25″–0.5″ long) that live in the large intestine
Managing Infectious Diseases—Pneumonia
An inflammation of the lungs primarily caused by a viral or, less commonly, bacterial infection. Infection of the lungs often is secondary to an infection that starts in the nose and throat area (ie, the upper portion of the respiratory tract) and then spreads to the lungs (ie, the lower portion of the respiratory tract). The infection can start in the lungs from an infection brought there by the blood (especially pneumonia caused by bacterial infection).
Managing Infectious Diseases—Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
A virus that causes the common cold and other respiratory signs or symptoms
Managing Infectious Diseases—Ringworm
A fungal infection that may affect the body, feet, or scalp
Managing Infectious Diseases—Roseola (Human Herpesvirus 6 and 7)
A viral infection causing fever or rash in infants and children that primarily occurs between 6 and 24 months of age
Managing Infectious Diseases—Rotavirus
Fecal-oral route: Contact with feces of children who are infected. This generally involves an infected child contaminating his own fingers, then touching an object that another child touches. The child who touched the contaminated surface then puts her fingers into her own mouth or another person’s mouth.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Rubella (German Measles)
A mild viral infection usually lasting 3 days that is now rare in the United States because of routine immunization
Managing Infectious Diseases—Salmonella
Salmonella is an intestinal infection caused by Salmonella bacteria.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Scabies
An infestation of the skin by small insects called mites
Managing Infectious Diseases—Shigella
An intestinal infection caused by the Shigella bacteria
Managing Infectious Diseases—Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
An infection caused by the reactivation of varicella-zoster (chickenpox) virus within the body of someone who previously had chickenpox or (rarely) someone who had received the chickenpox vaccine in the past
Managing Infectious Diseases—Staphylococcus aureus (Methicillin-Resistant [MRSA] and Methicillin-Sensitive [MSSA])
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of bacteria that primarily causes skin infections, although these bacteria can cause pneumonia, bone, joint, and blood infections less commonly.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Strep Throat (Streptococcal Pharyngitis) and Scarlet Fever
A disease caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria
Managing Infectious Diseases—Sty
A mild infection in the eyelid at the base of the eyelashes or near the edge of the eyelid
Managing Infectious Diseases—Thrush (Candidiasis)
A yeast infection predominately produced by Candida albicans organisms causing mouth infections in young infants
Managing Infectious Diseases—Tuberculosis (TB)
A disease caused by an infection with the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis that usually involves the lungs but could affect other parts of the body
Managing Infectious Diseases—Upper Respiratory Infection (Common Cold)
The term upper respiratory infection usually refers to a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract (ie, nose, throat, ears, and eyes). Upper respiratory infections are common among infants in child care (10–12 per year) but become less common as children mature. Older children and adults have an average of 4 upper respiratory infections per year.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Urinary Tract Infection
An infection of one or more parts of the urinary system. The urinary system includes the kidneys, the tubes that join the kidneys to the bladder (ureters), the bladder, and the tube that leads from the bladder to the outside (the urethra).
Managing Infectious Diseases—Vomiting
If the vomiting is associated with an infection, the incubation and contagious periods depend on the type of germ causing the infection.
Managing Infectious Diseases—Warts (Human Papillomavirus)
Warts are skin infections caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
Managing Infectious Diseases—Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
A contagious and fairly common bacterial infection that causes a range of illnesses, from mild cough to severe disease
Managing Infectious Diseases—Yeast Diaper Rash (Candidiasis)
A shiny red rash, pinker than usual skin, or red bumps in the diaper area that may be caused by a yeast called Candida. There are other causes of diaper rash that produce a similar skin appearance but are not caused by an infection.
Pinkeye and Your Child
Pinkeye (acute contagious conjunctivitis) occurs when the thin tissue covering the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelids is red or swollen (inflamed).
Pneumonia and Your Child
After an exam, the doctor may order a blood test or an x-ray. These tests can help your doctor decide how to treat your child's infection. If your child needs medicine, be sure you know the right amount, when to give the medicine, and if you should give food with it. If you forget or don't understand the instructions on the medicine label, call the doctor or your pharmacist for help.
Your Child Has a Sore Throat: What's the Cause?
A sore throat is one of the most common concerns among parents of school-aged children. Here is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about sore throats and their causes. Also included is information about strep throat tests, tonsillitis, how to prevent the spread of germs, and when to call the doctor.

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