Common Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are the most common and important of all pediatric problems throughout the world. By providing consultations, inpatient and outpatient diagnosis, and treatment for acute and chronic infectious diseases, the infectious disease specialists at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis want to do all in their power to keep your child healthy. Our specialists are fully committed to improving the health of today's and tomorrow's children by continuing to diagnose, effectively treat and prevent infectious diseases.
Some common infectious diseases include:
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV): RSV causes some similar symptoms as cold and flu, such as fever, runny nose and cough. For babies less than one year old, RSV is the most common cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small air passages in the lungs. Wheezing is a telltale symptom of these conditions, which sometimes have to be treated in the hospital.
  • Chickenpox: Chickenpox typically comes on suddenly with a slight fever. A blister-type rash occurs in successive crops, usually appearing first on the body, face and scalp, and later spreading to the limbs. This disease can be effectively prevented with childhood vaccination.
  • Fifth disease: Fifth disease is often also known as “slapped cheek disease” due to a red rash it causes on the face. In addition to red cheeks, children often develop a red, lacy rash on the rest of the body, with the upper arms and legs being the most common locations. The rash typically lasts a couple of days and may itch; some cases have been known to last for several weeks. Patients are usually no longer infectious once the rash has appeared.
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease: Hand, foot and mouth disease shouldn’t be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, which infects only livestock. A common childhood illness, hand, foot and mouth disease causes a fever with blisters or sores inside the mouth and on the palms and soles of the feet.
  • Croup: Croup is a childhood illness usually caused by a group of viruses called human parainfluenza viruses, which also cause the common cold. The main symptom of croup is a "barking" cough, sometimes likened to the barking sound a seal makes.
  • Scarlet fever: Once feared as a deadly childhood disease, scarlet fever is actually caused by the same bacteria as strep throat and is easily cured with antibiotics.
  • German measles (rubella): Rubella often causes mild or no symptoms including mild fever, runny nose, swollen nodes and a pink blotchy rash that lasts a short time. This disease can be effectively prevented with childhood vaccination.