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Cough, rectal temperature 101.9, loss of appetite, stomach pain, viral infection

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General & Family Physician
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3 yr old son with cough, rectal temp 101.9, no appetite, stomach pain that comes and goes.
Posted Sun, 29 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 1 hour later

Thanks for your query,

From the description of your son's symptoms it seems that he might be having a viral infection, which can commonly produce such symptoms involving the respiratory and the gastrointestinal tract.

Such viral infections are common in young children and are self limiting and resolve within a weeks time.

The treatment involves plenty of rest, providing extra fluids and symptomatic treatment.

1. Cold sponges might be helpful to reduce the body temperature.
How to sponge: Use lukewarm water (85 - 90° F) (29.4 - 32.2° C). Sponge for 20-30 minutes. If your child shivers or becomes cold, stop sponging or increase the water temperature.

2. Fever is a reaction of the body, to fight the infection and Tylenol can be given for moderate fevers above 102° F.

3. Give cold fluids orally in unlimited amounts (reason: good hydration replaces sweat and improves heat loss via skin).

4. Dress in 1 layer of light weight clothing and sleep with 1 light blanket (avoid bundling). (Caution: overheated kids can't undress themselves.)

5. In case your son has nasal congestion, a cool-mist humidifier (vaporizer) may help loosen congestion and make your child more comfortable.

6. To reduce the cough, - try half a teaspoon of honey given at regular intervals. Avoid any cough preparations which usually are not of any help.

This treatment is usually helpful to help the child get over the viral infection in most cases.

In case the symptoms do not resolve with the above measures, then consultation with a doctor for examination and appropriate management might be required.

I hope this helps.

I shall be available to answer any follow up queries .
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Follow-up: Cough, rectal temperature 101.9, loss of appetite, stomach pain, viral infection 2 hours later
If it is viral, I would have had the same symptoms, right? which I don't. I sleep with him and hold him close all the time. He never had stomach pain before, so this concerns me. He does not have any diarrhea either, and passes gas OK.

My son also fights hard on any po meds. What are your suggestions ? Thanks
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 19 minutes later
Hello again,

Adults usually have good immunity and presence of antibodies, that are protective against most common viral infections. But kids younger than age of 7 years have a developing immune system, and lack of antibodies, which causes them to develop symptoms associated with the infection.

The main viruses that present in kids of age group 3 years and above are adenoviruses which present with respiratory and abdominal symptoms. Abdominal pain in your sons case is due to intestinal contractions, associated with the viral infection. These are usually benign and subside soon with proper hydration and electrolyte replacements.

In case, your kid does not take tablets, you can use Children's Tylenol Suspension Liquid or TYLENOL Meltaways, which are flavored and easily accepted by young kids.

I hope this helps to clear any doubts.
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