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Headache, neck stiffness, lump on the left side of neck and fever. What could this be?

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Pain Medicine & Palliative Care Specialist
Practicing since : 1983
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Have a 7 year child, female, with a slight temperature 99.7 who complains of a headache and her neck is stiff on the left side, sensitive to touch. We provider her with Equate and will record her temperature every two hours. There is a lump on the left side of her neck (frontal view) swollen, and she doesn't want anyone to touch her neck...
Posted Tue, 26 Nov 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Kerry Pottinger 1 hour later
Brief Answer: I suggest you take her to see a doctor. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for using Healthcare Magic. From the symptoms you describe, your child has an infection. The presence of neck stiffness is a little worrying. Therefore, I suggest you take her to the ED so she can be checked. Neck stiffness is a feature of meningitis. However, the neck swelling may indicate a throat infection with swollen glands which can cause a stiff and sensitive neck. This would be the more likely diagnosis and would not need her to be seen by a doctor. However, to be on the safe side a visit to the ED would confirm the diagnosis. Regarding Equate, I suggest you review the drug information accompanying the medicine as it is usually not recommended for children under 12 years so please check this. Paracetamol would be preferable as this would help the pain and reduce the temperature. I hope this is of help. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Regards, Dr K A Pottinger, MBChB FRCA
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