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Cough,fever,lethargy,bad breath,wheezing

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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Hi my 11 month old son has a cough, temprature, raspy voice, lethargy and bad breath, he is very noisy when he is aleep, like a wheeze. I am giving him regular analgesia, this is the third time in about 6 weeks that he has been this unwell. Is it Viral? My GP prescribed antibiotics and prenisilone, however I was of the understanding that many illness at this age are Viral and antibiotics should be avoided, Please help, i am very confused.
Tue, 22 May 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Radhika 1 hour later

Thanks for the query.

Yes, most of the illness at this age are Viral. Your child's symptoms may be from a simple Viral infection, such as a Cold or Flu.

Viral infection in babies are one or more of the following: fever, rash, sleepiness or fussiness, runny nose, cough, difficulty breathing, wheezing, decreased appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea.

You can treat your child with antipyretics (for fever) like Paracetamol and anti histaminics for cold. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids and gets enough rest. Tepid sponging should be done 3 to 4 times a day if he has high temperatures.

Chicken soup may also help relieve cold and flu symptoms by breaking up congestion. See your child's doctor if your child's symptoms persist or worsen.

Antibiotics are given for bacterial infection and not Viral. Even steroids like prednisolone should be avoided. Antibiotics also affects the normal gut bacteria which helps in digestion. It is always better to give a probiotic to infants. In your son's case it seems more of a viral infection.

You can follow these measures which will help to ease the congestion:
1. Steam Inhalation - This will help in reducing the nose and chest congestion, and help your child cough it up or blow it out. During this you can XXXXXXX his chest and back which too will help in coughing out of the mucus.

2. Sleep upright - If possible, allow your child to sleep in a slightly upright position. This allows for easier breathing during sleep.

Hope my answer is informative and helpful to you, I am available for follow up should you have anymore queries.

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