Health tips

“It’s just a virus…”

Let’s set the scene:

Your child is poorly.

Fever, runny nose, horrible cough.

It just doesn’t seem to be shifting and after 3 sleepless miserable nights you begin to wonder if this is more than a simple cold.

You take them to the GP and sit in the waiting room (holding your breath and trying to inhale as little as possible) practicing your lines in preparation for your golden 10 minutes.

The GP examines your child and says that famous line “It is just a virus.”

What this does NOT mean:

  • I want to keep all antibiotics for myself in a secret stash under my mattress for when the zombie apocalypse happens.

  • I don’t really know what’s going on here, so I will just say the word virus and hope that it confuses you.

  • I consider myself the guardian of all antibiotics on earth and I don’t really fancy giving you any.  So there.  I also enjoy baking bunny rabbits and boiling teeny tiny kittens.

What it DOES mean:

  • This infection is unlikely to be caused by bacteria.

  • Bacteria are killed by antibiotics but viruses are not.

  • Antibiotics can cause rashes, diarrhoea and thrush. Also resistance to antibiotics is increasing because they have been overused for decades, so it is better for your child not to have antibiotics unless they are needed.

  • There is no medication that can get rid of a virus. Your child will naturally mount an immune response against the virus, but it may take a few days.

  • Your little one will need to rest, have call if needed to keep them comfortable and drink plenty of fluids.

  • Sometimes a viral illness can get worse or make a child susceptible to catching a bacterial illness on the top, so if after you see the GP your child is not getting better- definitely go back for another checkup.

(No bunny rabbits or teeny tiny kittens were harmed in the making of this post)

Dr Claudia x

Please note: The materials in this web site are in no way intended to replace the professional medical care, advice, diagnosis or treatment of a doctor. The web site does not have answers to all problems. Answers to specific problems may not apply to everyone. If you notice medical symptoms or feel ill, you should consult your doctor. Dr Claudia x

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