Do not ignore a sore throat in children

Viral infections continue to plague Delhi with more and more people becoming victims of high fever, cough and nasal discharge. Mosquito borne diseases such as chikungunya and dengue are also on the rise. At such times it is important to remember a few basic guidelines. Firstly there is no need to take antibiotics when an adult patient has symptoms such as high fever, a cough and a cold. In patients with suspected dengue, NSAIDs barring Paracetamol must not be taken as they run the risk of capillary leakage. One must remember that Chikungunya though painful is not a life-threatening disease and takes about a week ten days for the symptoms to disappear”. said Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Honorary Secretary General IMA.
It is however impirtant to remember that a sore throat in school children should not be ignored and shown to a local family doctor. This should be done to rule out bacterial sore throat infection, which if goes undetected, can cause rheumatic involvement of the valves of the heart, a condition known as rheumatic fever. Such children invariably will complain of throat pain while swallowing, red angry–looking tonsils and painful enlargement of lymph nodes at the angle of the mouth. Immediate antibiotics are needed to treat this to avoid future heart disease. In such patients no cough and nasal discharge will be present.
Children also should not be given aspirin indiscriminately as it is known to be associated with fatal liver disease, in susceptible children. The first attack of rheumatic fever is rare after the age of 35.

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