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Constant cough, fever, taken zithromax and albuterol, history of asthma, pneumonia and otitis

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 466 Questions
My 4 yr old has asthma, has had multiple episodes of pneumonia and otitis, this round he's had fevers 100-104 for 6 days off and on, dry harsh non-productive cough with raspy breathing at times, and is now complaining of stomach pain. Finished zithromax (5days) 2 days ago for diagnosis of otitis, symptoms remain even with tylenol and motrin... Has been seen in ER and by family doc, told it was otitis and a virus.... He's missed a week of school, can't sleep due to constant coughing, even after using albuterol inhaler.
Posted Thu, 3 May 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Mitaly 23 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

I understand your concern for your child's health.

Pneumonia in children under 5 years of age can be due to viral or bacterial infection.The common symptoms are cough,fever,breathing problem,abdominal pain,vomitting,chest pain etc.

Sometimes prolonged viral pneumonia can even lead to bacterial pneumonia and in that case antibiotic treatment is required.

You need to increase the child's immunity by giving plenty of fluids,healthy nutritious diet and Vitamin C supplements.

Though it may take time to be cured and might require prolonged medications but adequate rest and proper diet does help the child in recovering.
Sometimes fever and weakness can take even a month inspite of drugs and child may recover slowly.

If he is having recurrent bouts of infection you can consider giving Pnemococcal/influenza Vaccine after discussing with the Pediatrician.

Give him Zinc supplement daily as it helps in recovering from the disease.

Just check that no one smokes inside the house as it can worsen the symptoms.

If the symptoms worsen consider visiting a Pediatrician for evaluation if intravenous medications are required.

Hope this answers your query.I willbe available for follow up in case of doubt.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Constant cough, fever, taken zithromax and albuterol, history of asthma, pneumonia and otitis 34 minutes later
Thank you so very much for your quick reply. I never thought of the zinc, he's a very healty eater, and despite a pretty poor appetite and weakness this week he's stayed well hydrated. I am a nurse, I just question the length of the fever, more than even with his previous pneumonias.

What are the chances that an xray early on (had in the ER and wa negative) may have missed something? -despite lung sounds being clear except for intermittent last night/early morning wheezes-

At what point would reevaluation by the family doc be appropriate/necessary?

Answered by Dr. Mitaly 9 minutes later

Thanks for the follow up.

Mild to moderate fever might be prolonged even for 3 to 4 weeks in some cases.Since the Chest X XXXXXXX has been clear and the lung sounds are fine after clinical examination it seems he is improving.

Missing something in X XXXXXXX is a remote chance as otherwise lung sounds would have been abnormal and that would have given an idea.

If the fever is higher than 101*F constantly for few days and he complains of other symptoms as chest pain,continuous wheezing,abdominal pain then a visit to your Healthcare Provider for evaluation would be reassuring.

Wishing him Good Health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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