Tips for Treating Viruses, Fungi and Parasites - HealthyChildren.org

All people encounter infectious organisms during the day in the air, soil and water, in food and on surfaces everywhere. Fortunately, your child's immune (immune) system can fight most of these organisms, keeping them healthy. When these organisms become a problem and cause an infection, the doctor has several medications that can help your child get better.

Antibacterials are prescription or prescription medicines that parents may be more familiar with. Almost all parents have had the experience of giving your child antibacterial treatment for an ear infection or strep throat. Most may mention some of the most common antibacterials (penicillin, amoxicillin, tetracycline) that have helped your child fight bacterial infections. Although your child may have been given more antibacterials than other types of prescription drugs to combat infections, there are also medicines available to combat certain childhood diseases caused by < Yeasts and molds) Remember, however important antibacterials are, they are only useful against infections caused by bacteria.

For diseases caused by other types of germs, antibacterials will simply not help your child get better. In fact, they may add risks because of the potential side effects of all medications. At the same time, improper use of medications may contribute to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

Antiviral drugs

Antiviral drugs are relatively recent advances, but more and more of these drugs are now available to fight against viruses. They are made to prevent infection or shorten the duration of infections by preventing the virus from spreading, although they can not kill the viruses that already exist. These medications are not appropriate for all viral infections; If your child has a common cold, for example, just let it follow its natural course. Your doctor can tell you when a prescription antiviral medication is needed.

Unlike broad-spectrum antibiotics, which are often used against a wide variety of bacterial organisms, antiviral medicines tend to be more specific and attack specific viruses. Here are some examples of antiviral drugs that are sometimes prescribed for children. Acyclovir is a medicine that can be used to treat chickenpox, as well as symptoms related to herpes infections that can affect the skin, eyes, mouth, genitals or the brain. Acyclovir can relieve discomfort and accelerate the cure of herpes ulcers, but does not kill the virus. The herpes simplex virus will remain latent in the body and may again cause symptoms in the future.

Amantadine is among the many antiviral medicines that can be used to treat and prevent the flu. These medications are most helpful when they start right after the flu symptoms appear on your child. In general, the medication should be started within the first 2 days of the illness. Amantadine alone is effective in treating a type of influenza virus, influenza A.

Ribavirin and Interferon are antiviral medicines that are sometimes prescribed for adults who develop chronic hepatitis. Its use in children is limited.

Remember that although viral diseases should not be treated with antibacterials, bacterial infections sometimes occur as a secondary complication of a viral disease. In these cases, antibacterials are used to treat bacterial infection. Antifungal medicines Fungal infections are caused by microscopic plants whose spores are transported in the air and children breathe them.

They can also enter the body through a cut in the skin. When the spores are inhaled, they can be deposited in the lungs and begin to multiply and form clusters. Eventually they reach the bloodstream and run through the body. Like many infectious organisms, they can cause serious illness in children whose immune systems are already weakened by another disease such as cancer or AIDS.

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You are probably more familiar with mushrooms such as mushrooms, yeast, mildew and mildew. Some fungi can live inside the body and never cause any disease. But others cause diseases, including common infections such as ringworm of the skin, hair and nails; athlete's foot; tinea inguinale; and candidiasis or vaginal infections.

Many medications can combat these fungal infections. They are usually available in a topical form that can be applied directly on the skin. Some are over-the-counter medicines, while others must be prescribed by the doctor.

Although over-the-counter antifungal products are considered safe when used according to label directions, it is always recommended that you talk to your pediatrician before treating your child with these medicines.

Antiparasitic medicines

Parasites can cause infections in children. In some parts of the world, they are a common cause of illness and death. In the Western world, adults and children often contract parasitic diseases when traveling to tropical regions of the world where these diseases are most prevalent, such as rural areas of Central and South America, Asia and Africa. Some parasites are so tiny that they can not be seen except in a microscope, while others are large enough to easily see them with the naked eye. Most live on food, water and soil. When transmitted to your child, often when you consume contaminated food or water, your immune system is able to fight many of them. Other parasites, however, can cause potentially serious infections.

The parasite infection most commonly known by parents are intestinal worms, but others include malaria, solitary or tapeworm, hookworm and trichinosis. Some antibacterials also work against parasites. Metronidazole can block the reproductive cycle of some parasites and some bacteria. There are certain antiparasitic medications available only through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your doctor must specifically request them from this entity.

There are common myths that certain parasitic diseases are caused by poor hygiene and can only be prevented or treated by improving personal cleanliness. These are just myths. There are medicines available to treat parasite infections. Cleaning your child will not cure the infection. However, as with many other infectious diseases, including certain parasitic diseases, it is important to wash your hands and it is a good way to avoid the germs that can make your child sick.

The information contained in this website should not be used as a substitute for the advice and medical care of your pediatrician. There may be many variations in treatment that your pediatrician could recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

  • Adam Floyd