ZocdocAnswersMy child woke up with a fever and loose stools. Is this viral or bacterial?

Question

My child woke up with a fever and loose stools. Is this viral or bacterial?

My child woke up with a low grade fever of 99.7 and was given tylenol and put back to bed. She woke up several hours later with loose stools. She was acting like a normal 3 year old, running around and what not, and progressively the loose stools have started to have mucousy blood in them. Not a lot of blood, but noticeable enough to be concerning. We recently got a puppy, a rescue with limited veterinary history, and were told that he suffered from guiardia and coccidia - but was treated for a week with antibiotics. We visited out PCP and she has sent stool out for cultures. Any idea if this resembles viral or bacterial infection? If so what are the markers.

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you have had to worry about this. As a parent, there is nothing more concerning than having a sick child, and you just worry constantly about what more you can do to help him or her to feel better. It's absolutely miserable for all involved! Now, it is difficult to discern exactly what is going on based just on the story that you have provided. It is great that you have already been to a doctor, and I would advise that you remain in close contact if there are new symptoms or if things take a turn for the worse in any way. Otherwise, it does take a matter of a few days before you usually will hear back about the results of a stool culture. There are many other questions that your doctor will likely have asked you to determine what is the likely offending organism. Certainly the information about the new dog is a very important key. Please stay in touch with your primary care doctor as you wait for those results on an as needed basis, and please help your child to stay well hydrated. Unfortunately, based on your story alone I cannot tell if it is a bacteria or a virus. Please speak to your child's doctor.

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