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Child has sore knees, sore back and neck, vomiting, flu, cough. Ruled out meningitis. What is it?

My 8 year old son has had the flu for almost a week. He had some vomiting initially, with complaints of a sore stomache. That has seemed to subside. He now complains of having sore knees, is barely able to tolerate standing or even walking. He is still quite congested and has a bad cough . He hasn t complained of a sore back or neck. If I was to take him in to the doctor, what would they do to assess him and rule out meningitis without taking the lumbar puncture? Obviously that is not the road I want to go down unless it was absolutely necessary and meningitis was a serious concern. Without seeing him, what would be your first questions to assess his condition and rule out meningitis? It is flu season and I know it s going around, so I don t want to be a hypochondriac, but the sore legs threw me since he has never complained about that before.
Asked On : Sun, 10 Feb 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  242
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Pediatrician 's  Response
Feb 2013
Thank you for your query,
Your child seems to have a post viral myalgia and arthralgias involving the joints and muscles of the lower limbs.
Lumbar puncture is done whenever the doctor suspects meningitis in a child depending on clinical symptoms, clinical findings like stiff neck, and the other meningeal signs of irritation.
Routine lumbar puncture is not required to rule out meningitis in every case of fever or sore knees without the clinical suspicion of meningitis.
Is there any joint swelling? Or any muscle tenderness?
So consult your Pediatrician for the examination and for the proper advise.
Hope I have answered your query.
Answered: Sun, 10 Feb 2013
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