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When to take your child to the ER for enterovirus

When to take your child to the ER for enterovirus


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Enterovirus is a viral disease that does not usually have too many problems. But sometimes, the symptoms get complicated.

At what point should we take the child to the emergency room from a hospital for this disease?

The warning symptoms for enterovirus in children are striking symptoms that usually develop relatively acutely in a feverish and sick child:

1. Instability while walking (separate the legs so as not to fall or go 'sideways', like a drunk person).

2. Tremors, jerking or strange movements of the limbs.

3. Squint (squinting the eyes either inward or looking one way and the other to the other) or rapid movements of both eyes, either horizontally or vertically (nystagmus) or any other strange movement of the eye muscles (for example , staring up or staring). If the child comments that sees double It is also a symptom to consult urgently.

4. General decline and / or excessive drowsiness with difficulty in waking up the child in a child in whom normally they do not usually have difficulties in doing so (there are children who really find it difficult to 'get out' from a nap; that is why we must know our children well ... but if you have any questions, ask).

5. More or less sudden difficulty speaking or doing it in a confused way and locking the tongue (dysarthria) in a child who already spoke well.

6. Difficulty to swallow with or without exaggerated drooling and irritability. This can happen due to affectation of the pharyngeal muscles that control 'swallowing', since the signal from an important part of the brain that is affected by the virus does not reach them 'well'. This situation is very different from what happens very commonly in children with 'angina' in whom there is also fever and difficulty swallowing.

7. Lack of strength in the legs in such a way that the child (who was already walking) falls to one side or is unable to walk; the cause would be similar to that described in the previous point. If the child is small and tired, it can be difficult to assess but then other symptoms such as fever, general condition, etc. must be assessed, in addition to being able to consult the pediatrician who will surely help you in any case if there are doubts. Lack of strength must also be considered in the arms or trunk.

8. Difficulty breathing established relatively abruptly (in fact, enterovirus D68 is better known for primarily attacking the respiratory system). In some cases, the difficulty coughing. In immunocompromised children, asthmatics or with heart disease, conditions of this type could be more serious, so we must be even more vigilant.

9. Heart rhythm disturbances: striking tachycardia or bradycardia (sudden acceleration or slowing of the heartbeat) in a feverish context (obviously a healthy child jumping is normal for tachycardia). Symptoms with arrhythmias have also been described.

10. Severe headache and / or neck stiffness (meningism); with or without repeated vomiting and with or without conspicuous rejection of light (photophobia).

11. In children with a fever who are not yet walking, intense and manifest irritability that does not calm in the mother's arms, could also be a worrying symptom.

12. Deviation of the mouth to one side and one eye more closed than the other (Facial paralysis)

These symptoms are not exclusive to enterovirus involvement that affects the nervous system, but can also occur in other types of pathologies (among others, brain tumors or major head injuries).

Consulted bibliography:

Treaty of Pediatrics M Cruz, 2006

Enterovirus Infections of the Central Nervous System in Children (H. Rudolph H. Schroten February 2016)

Enterovirus meningitis. Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory characteristics in a series of 60 children. (C. Pérez Méndeza)

Department of Health Generalitat de Catalunya

You can read more articles similar to When to take your child to the ER for enterovirus, in the category of Childhood Diseases on site.


Video: Enterovirus in Children (May 2022).