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Brains Super Speciality Hospital
Pediatric Neuroinfections: Dangerous but treatable

Dr. Varsha Manohar

Pediatrician and Pediatric neurologist

Pediatric neuroinfections are a concerning group of illnesses caused by micro-organisms (viruses or bacteria) that lead to swelling of the delicate structures (meninges) covering the brain and spinal cord. This condition is potentially life-threatening if untreated, however, children who receive prompt medical attention usually recover fully.

Warning signs to look for

Infants: poor feeding, restlessness, irritability, lethargy, jaundice, bulging fontanel (soft spot on top of head), fever, high-pitched cry, arching of the back, and excessive crying.

In children older than 1 year: Confusion, stiff neck, fever, rash, vomiting, seizures, headache, lethargy, irritability, refusal to eat, and sensitivity to light.

Diagnosis and treatment

  • .Prompt diagnosis is very important for good outcomes.
  • .Tests like lumbar puncture (to analyze cerebrospinal fluid), blood cultures, and imaging studies are key.
  • .Treatment includes IV antibiotics depending on the infective agent, IV fluids, and other supportive care.
  • .Long-term monitoring and rehabilitation may be necessary depending on the extent of neurological damage.

How to prevent pediatric neuroinfections?

  • .Good hand washing
  • .Routine immunization

Importance of seeking medical attention:

  • .Early diagnosis and intervention can significantly improve prognosis and prevent serious complications like brain damage, learning disabilities, and hearing loss.
  • .Do not hesitate to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect your child has any signs of neuroinfection.