Health Information

Infectious Diseases

  • The Immune System

    Detailed information on the immune system and how it works.

  • Adenovirus Infection in Children

    Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that cause a variety of infections. These include the common cold, conjunctivitis, and croup.

  • Diphtheria in Children

    Diphtheria is a childhood disease that was common in the 1930s. A vaccine against diphtheria has made it very rare today in the U.S. and other developed countries.

  • Fever in Children

    When your child has a fever, the body resets its thermostat at a higher temperature. This helps the body fight off invading microorganisms.

  • Influenza (Flu) in Children

    Influenza (flu) is a very contagious viral infection that affects the air passages of the lungs. It causes a high fever, body aches, a cough, and other symptoms.

  • Hepatitis in Children

    Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It can damage and destroy liver cells.

  • Herpes Simplex Virus (Cold Sores) in Children

    Cold sores are small blisters around the mouth caused by the herpes simplex virus. Once a child is infected with the virus, the virus becomes inactive (dormant) for long periods of time. It can then become active at any time and cause cold sores.

  • Haemophilus Influenzae Infections in Children

    Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) is a group of bacteria that can cause different types of infections in babies and children. H. influenzae most often cause ear, eye, or sinus infections. They also cause pneumonia.

  • HIV Home Care

    Detailed information on HIV home care for your child

  • Human Parainfluenza Viruses (HPIVs) in Children

    Human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) are a group of viruses that cause different types of respiratory infections. They are more common in children and babies. But they can occur in people of any age, especially those with a weak immune system.

  • Childhood Immunizations

    Your little one will need several immunization shots to help protect her from several childhood diseases, some of which can be deadly. Knowing which shots she needs, when, and what to do in the event of a minor reaction is important.

  • Home Page - Infectious Diseases in Children

    Detailed information on infectious diseases in children

  • Infectious Diseases

    Detailed information on infectious diseases in children

  • Meningococcal Infections in Children

    Meningococcal infections are not common, but they can be fatal. They occur most often in late winter and early spring. Children are more often affected, but the illnesses also occur in teens and adults.

  • Mumps in Children

    Mumps is a very contagious viral illness that infects the pair of salivary glands in front of the ears. Cases of mumps in the U.S. happen much less often since the mumps vaccine has been used.

  • Online Resources - Infectious Diseases in Children

    List of online resources to find additional information on infectious diseases

  • Pets and Infectious Diseases in Children

    One way to prevent the spread of disease from your pet: Feed your pet a balanced diet and avoid having your pet eat raw foods or drink out of the toilet.

  • Prevention of Infectious Disease

    Detailed information on prevention of infectious diseases

  • Poliomyelitis (Polio) in Children

    Poliomyelitis (polio) is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. The virus is most known for causing paralysis. But very few children with polio develop paralysis. Polio is now very rare in the U.S. because children are vaccinated against it.

  • Rabies in Children

    Rabies is a viral infection that attacks the nervous system. Once symptoms develop, it is often fatal. But a rabies vaccine, or a series of vaccines, given soon after contact with an animal infected with rabies can prevent the illness.

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) in Children

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a bacterial infection. It’s spread by the bite of an infected tick.

  • Roseola in Children

    Roseola is a contagious viral illness. It causes a high fever and then a rash that develops as the fever goes away.

  • Rotavirus Infection in Children

    Rotavirus is a contagious virus that causes nausea and diarrhea. It is the leading cause of severe infectious diarrhea in children.

  • Rubella in Children

    Rubella is a viral illness that causes a mild fever and a skin rash. It is also called German measles, but is not caused by the same virus that causes measles (rubeola).

  • Measles (Rubeola) in Children

    Measles (rubeola) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. It causes a red, blotchy rash. It’s a very contagious illness.

  • Scarlet Fever in Children

    Scarlet fever is an infectious disease that causes a rash. It is caused by the same kind of bacteria that cause strep throat.

  • Topic Index - Infectious Diseases in Children

    Detailed information on infectious diseases in children

  • Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome (SSSS) in Children

    Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) is a serious skin infection. The infection causes peeling skin over large parts of the body. It looks like the skin has been scalded or burned by hot liquid. It’s more common in the summer and fall.

  • Tuberculosis (TB) in Children

    Tuberculosis (TB) is an ongoing (chronic) infection caused by bacteria. It usually infects the lungs. But the kidneys, spine, and brain may also be affected.

  • Tetanus in Children

    Tetanus is a severe illness of the central nervous system caused by bacteria. It's not contagious. It can be prevented by a vaccine.

  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster) in Children

    Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful skin rash. It’s caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This is the same virus that causes chickenpox.

  • West Nile Fever in Children

    West Nile fever is an illness caused by a virus. The virus is spread by mosquito bites. It usually causes mild, flu-like symptoms.

  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Children

    Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral illness. It is very contagious and can spread quickly. It can cause mild illness, severe illness, or death.

  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases

    Women suffer more frequent and severe symptoms from STDs. Some STDs can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to both infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

  • Whooping Cough (Pertussis) in Children

    Whooping cough (pertussis) is a contagious illness. It causes intense fits (paroxysms) of coughing. It mainly affects babies and young children.

  • Fifth Disease in Children

    Fifth disease is a viral illness that causes a rash. It occurs most often in the winter and spring.

  • Handwashing

    At home or work, it's important to wash your hands often—and properly. Read on to learn how.

  • Impetigo in Children

    Impetigo is an infection of the skin. When it affects just the surface, it’s called superficial impetigo. Impetigo can also affect deeper parts of the skin. This is called ecthyma. It may occur on healthy skin. Or it may occur where the skin was injured by a cut, scrape, or insect bite.

  • Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono) in Teens and Young Adults

    Infectious mononucleosis is a contagious illness. It’s common in teens and young adults.

  • Meningitis in Children

    Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and the spinal cord. Bacteria or viruses are the more common causes.

  • Lyme Disease in Children

    Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria are usually spread by tick bites. Lyme disease is a year-round problem, but it peaks during the spring and summer months.

  • MRSA Infection in Children

    MRSA is an infection that can be life-threatening if it spreads from the skin to the lungs, the bloodstream, or other organs. MRSA infection can be hard to treat.

  • Cat Scratch Disease in Children

    Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection carried in cat saliva. It is passed from a cat bite or scratch to a human. It can also result from a fleabite, but cats are the main source.

  • Campylobacter Infection in Children

    Campylobacter infection is a mild to serious digestive illness caused by bacteria.  Symptoms often include cramping, diarrhea, belly pain, and fever.

  • Walking Pneumonia in Children

    Walking pneumonia is very common in school-aged children. It's the most common type of pneumonia in this age group.

  • Trichomoniasis (Trich) in Teens

    Trichomoniasis is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can cause vaginal redness and swelling (inflammation) in teen girls. In teen boys it can cause painful urination.

  • Roundworm Infection in Children

    Roundworm infection is a type of parasitic illness. This is an illness in which an organism lives inside the body of another creature. The worms live and grow inside the body and may cause symptoms.

  • Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

    Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a cluster of symptoms that involve many systems of the body. Certain bacterial infections release toxins into the blood stream. These then spread the toxins to many body organs. This can cause severe damage and illness.