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Sore throat for 5 days in 6-year-old
LinzyLu12 posted:
My 6-year-old son has had a severe sore throat for 5 days now. This is the third time in a little over a month that he has had this problem, although the first two times it cleared up within 2 days. This time we are at 5 days and he seems to be getting worse each day, not better. He has had an off and on low grade fever (never higher than about 100.9), loss of appetite and acts very lethargic. He also vomited this morning. I took him to his doctor yesterday and he did a strep test that came out negative. My main concerns are that he is not getting any better and that this is the third time this has happened since the end of October. Doctor didn't have any answers and I am so worried.
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
If it is not Strep, than it is a virus. Children of his age collect viruses like magnets, so it is not unusual in kindergarten or pre-school to see kids getting back to back viral infections. There are over 200 different viruses that can cause these symptoms.

He should should have a Strep CULTURE, though. A rapid Strep test is not 100% accurate. A culture takes about 2-3 days in the lab, but it can pick up Strep missed by the rapid test. I have also seen mononucleosis (another nasty virus) in this age group, so an EBV panel (a sensitive mono test) would be something to consider if he is not improving in a week.
LinzyLu12 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you for your advice. He is doing better now, but if any symptoms come back again I will definitely be bringing him back in for these additional tests.
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to LinzyLu12's response:
Improvement is a good sign....and perhaps a sign that he has a self-limited viral infections. Thanks for the update.

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