In winter season we come across cold and cough as a common ailment in children and we need to know what causes it. Viral and bacterial infections spread rapidly in children because they cough and sneeze without covering one’s faces.

Allergic, Bacterial and Viral causes are found to be responsible for upper respiratory infections in infants and children. Also, they affect them in various combinations – such as allergy with viral infection or viral and bacterial infections as mixed infections. Any cold that lasts for more than 2 weeks needs medical advice.

Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Infants and Children

Running nose is common in all types of colds. In bacterial infections, we also see a moderate degree of fever, sore throat, cough and sneezing. Viral infections are associated with high fever, headache, conjunctivitis, and at times with vomiting and loose motions in children. In allergic conditions in addition to running nose, we also find itchy watering eyes but never fever. However, all these various causes may affect a child as mixed infections and may lead to prolonged illness. Hence, any cold and cough that lasts for more than 2 weeks needs medical intervention. Targeted treatment is provided with specific medication based on relevant laboratory tests.

The basic tests done in such setting are:

  1. Complete Blood picture
  2. Nasal or throat swab for culture
  3. Blood culture
  4. Rapid Antigen test for Group A Streptococci
  5. Rapid test for Virus.

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