Recurrent Infections

A common reason parents bring children to healthcare providers is because of repeated infections. Whether they be sinusitis (sinus infections), otitis (ear infections), or bronchitis (lung infections), the physician and parent must determine the root cause for the recurrences.

The term “recurrent” in this case is commonly defined as two or more severe infections in one year, three or more upper or lower respiratory infections (such as sinusitis, otitis, bronchitis) in a year, or the need for antibiotics for two months per year.

Causes fall into four groups: “normal” child infections, the atopic diseases of childhood (asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis), other chronic conditions, or immunodeficiencies.

Using medical history, physical examination, and various tests including a complete blood count (CBC), quantitative immunoglobulin (Ig) measurements, ELISA (to measure antibodies), and skin testing for sensitivities, the physician can determine the baseline causes and prescribe any necessary course of treatment.


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