June….now seems like officially summer, although there are still some schools around the country in session, and even a couple in Dallas. So, with summer here it is check up time in my pediatric office. That means most days I am seeing very few sick patients, and most of the patients who come in for a visit other than a check up have a rash, a bug bite or maybe a swimmer’s ear.
But, with that being said there are also always some of those pesky summer viruses hanging around and many of them appear with just a fever. Many of the “sick” children I am seeing only have a fever, some of whom have a temperature as high as 103-104 degrees, with very few other symptoms. Although these kids have a significant fever, once they are given an over the counter product like acetaminophen or ibuprofen they feel pretty well and even play for awhile.
Fever is often just a symptom of a viral infection and these summer viruses have names…enterovirus, adenovirus, and even some left over parainfluenza virus. We are definitely out of flu season….at least till next year.
Some of these summer viruses may have associated rashes which are more common with summer viral infections than winter viruses.
I have seen some kids with these summer viruses with prolonged fever, even 5-7 days which is a bit longer than a pediatrician and a parent want to see. But, with that being said, when I have seen these children they appear to look well and have not had any other physical findings. I have often seen them again after having 5 or more days of fever, and it seems that many of them have adenoviral infections. Adenovirus may also cause a myriad of other symptoms than just fever, including pink eye, sore throat, abdominal pain and vomiting and diarrhea and tummy cramps. Rarely, some children will develop blood in their urine without having a urinary tract infection.
Parents often ask me….where did they catch this? Remember that these are just viral infections and that there is not a vaccine for adenovirus. Once we see one virus in the community I know I will continue to see more and more children as it is “passed around”. Best thing to do is to keep up good hand washing and keep your child home from the pool or summer activities if they have a fever.