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What are the possible causes for fever and dry cough in children?

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Pediatrician, Pulmonology
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 214 Questions
Okay, here we go: My 6 yr old daughter has had a fever for about 5 days off and on (off whenever ibuprofen has been administered, and one small dose of acetaminophen). She has had a dry cough for the same amount of time too. She hasn't had the chills with the fever, but her temperature has reached 103.1 degrees. I can hear the congestion in the back of her nose, especially considering she snores loudly now, which is not usual for her. Her nose does not run and nothing really comes out if she tries to blow it. At the beginning of all this, she said her tummy bothered her a little, but she doesn't complain about it now. Her appetite is low and I can see that she has lost some weight. I try my best to get her to eat and drink healthy, fibrous things, and she complies, but it's still not enough. She has had a couple bowel movements over these days, I think thanks to what I've given her to eat and drink. I took her to a pediatric urgent care clinic and they tested and told me she's negative for flu and strep screening, but they also sent out a strep culture which I was supposed to find out the results today. They said if they didn't call, then the result was negative. They did not call. I tried to call them just to be sure, but they were closed. While we were there, the Dr. told me to just treat the symptoms, so I've been giving her ibuprofen for her fever when needed, and once a half a dose of acetaminophen (not at the same time). I want to know what's causing her symptoms and treat THAT. I paid a few hundred dollars to that clinic. I feel like they should have tested for more. I know this is long, but there's more: I picked my daughter up from the babysitter's house 2 days ago (but 4 to 5 days after she started feeling sick). I'd not seen her for a while because she only gets to spend 2 weekends a month with me, unfortunately. So ever since the evening I picked her up (and after we went to the clinic- because I took her there straightaway when I saw how miserable she was), ever since then I've been feeling nauseous, abdominal bloating, and had diarrhea twice (that same night). My tummy is constantly bubbling. Then today I see that the lines on my left palm and underside of my fingers have acutely darkened- just today... I'm a caucasian woman, 29, pale, never had dark lines on my palms before. I washed my hands thoroughly and it didn't come off. (I washed my hands a lot today, considering it's Thanksgiving and I cooked a whole meal, so there was a lot of hand washing.) I can see that the darkening is coming from inside and not outside. It scares me that I might have an acute disease, or even a chronic one (which I've honestly thought I've had for years now) which might just be worsening and showing more signs. Could it be linked to the bubbling, bloated tummy and nausea? Now that I think of it, I had blood in my stool twice a couple weeks ago. The first time, it was a red stripe of blood throughout a long snake-like stool (sorry to be gross). I thought it was because it took some pushing to get out and maybe just ripped me a little. The next time was a day or 2 after probably, and it was diarrhea with a bit of red blood in it. That was a couple weeks ago. I should also mention that I got a kitten a week and a half ago. I had to wait a week to take it to the vet. (I took it to the vet the same day I took my daughter to the clinic. Vet in the AM and clinic in the PM when I picked my daughter up.) It had/has fleas and probably worms. The vet vaccinated it, and I administered worm and flea treatment. My daughter has not seen or been in contact with the kitten and doesn't even know I got it because I want it to be a surprise for her. So, my daughter's sickness could not be from the cat. My bloody stools happened before I got the cat. My bubbly tummy, nausea, bloating happened after I got the cat, and also the same evening I came into contact with my daughter. The dark palm lines happened today. Some of the darkening has dissipated, since I noticed it a few hours ago, but some remains. I know it's a lot of info, but hopefully the more details, the better we can find an answer. Ever since I gave birth to my one child, my body has changed a lot and I've suspected that I have hypothyroidism with possible chronic heart failure. All the symptoms were there, but simple thyroid tests (nothing in depth) said my levels were "normal" I guess. I was at my heaviest weight then too (226), about 5-6 years ago. A Dr. then told me that I had the cholesterol of an old man. He literally said that. He also did a simple finger prick diabetes test, but nothing in depth, which apparently came up negative. I lost about 50-60 pounds around 2 years ago due to starving myself and stress. I gained the weight back and I feel like I'm still ballooning. (I'm about 212 or so now.) My blood sugar is often very low to the point where I get shaky and I have to eat something immediately. So I wonder if I have diabetes. I'm a mess of symptoms that have been evolving over the years. My daughter is #1 priority, so if you have an answer for her first, I'd appreciate it.
Posted Thu, 19 Dec 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Sonila Borici 2 hours later
Brief Answer: acute rhino-sino-bronchitis Detailed Answer: Hi, The symptoms you describe for your child go for an acute rhino-sino-bronchitis. The most common cause of it are streptoccocus and some enteroviruses. Since the strep test is negative you don't need to give her antibiotics.The most probable agent is a coxsacchie virus. The congestion of the nose is normal in a sino-bronchitis, to relieve it you may use local decongestionants and also oral antihistaminics (the dosage should be consulted with the doctor). You may give her local antiseptic spray for the throat, and also take care for the meals you use: the child may have throat ache and the meals may aggravate it. Don't give her acidic meals, hot or cold meals but use them in room temperature. Also use acetaminophen or ibuprofen for the fever. I think everything is going to be fine in a couple of days. If you have any further query, don't hesitate to ask. Regards, Dr.Sonila Borici
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