Infections are generally caused by bacteria or viruses. These can be spread in blood, body fluids, contaminated food and airborne droplets or by animals and insects. Some infections can be prevented by immunisation.
A-Z of infectious diseases
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Topic: Childhood infections
Chickenpox is highly contagious but it is generally mild and resolves by itself.
Children with conjunctivitis must be kept home from school or child care until the discharge from their eyes has stopped to prevent the spread of infection.
Coughing and wheezing in babies can be distressing for you and your baby, but in most cases symptoms can be relieved at home.
Croup is a viral infection of the throat and windpipe that causes noisy breathing, a hoarse voice and a harsh, barking cough.
Diphtheria is a serious bacterial disease that causes severe inflammation of the nose, throat and windpipe
Fever is a way in which the body fights infection. A fever is not dangerous and does not always indicate a serious illness.
A febrile convulsion is a fit that occurs in children when they have a high fever.
Babies can become ill quickly with gastro - they need extra fluids to replace fluids lost by diarrhoea and vomiting.
Children under five should receive several doses of the Hib vaccine to protect them.
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Good personal hygiene is essential to prevent the spread of hand, foot and mouth disease to others, both for those infected and their carers.
Impetigo, or school sores, is a highly contagious skin infection that commonly affects school-aged children.
Measles can cause serious and sometimes fatal complications including pneumonia and encephalitis
Meningitis can cause death and requires urgent medical attention.
Middle ear infections often happen during or after a child has a cold.
Mumps is a viral illness that causes fever and swollen salivary glands
Roseola is a mild viral infection with associated fever and rash that affects babies and young children.
Rubella is a mild illness for most people but very dangerous for pregnant women and their babies.
Most people with slapped cheek disease need little if any treatment.
Viral encephalitis is inflammation of the brain caused by a virus and can cause permanent brain damage.