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Viruses are good for you

(126 Posts)
Edenviolet Wed 18-Dec-13 20:03:16


Took ds1 and 2 to gp today. Ds1 for the second time in four weeks and ds2 for the sixth time in four weeks.

Both have had temperatures, coughs, sore throats and earache and have had calpol and nurofen daily for four weeks and still have temperatures. I think they need antibiotics but gp said no then told me that "viruses are good for them, the more they get the stronger their immune system will be"

Utter rubbish.

Viruses are Not good for you. Dd2 got "just a virus" last year and ended up seriously unwell and with diabetes because of it. I am really annoyed that they keep dismissing us and say things like this when in fact viruses can actually cause a lot of harm

AuntieStella Wed 18-Dec-13 20:18:44

Viruses can cause a fever, and can hang around for weeks.

Why do you think your doctor is wrong about the causative microbe?

Edenviolet Wed 18-Dec-13 20:19:07

Dcs are unwell a lot, when its a cold or similar they get better after a week or so. I can tell when they need antibiotics, it just drags on and they get steadily worse and then once they have anti b they are better after a few days.

All four dcs get unwell a lot, I can just tell when they have an infection, the gp always say its a virus and send us away and we have to keep going back if dcs don't improve.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 18-Dec-13 20:22:25

When you say high temp, do you mean around 37 or around 39, for 4 Weeks?

breatheslowly Wed 18-Dec-13 20:24:46

If you get a virus you will build up immunity and may not catch it again or a related one. Like the deliberate infection with cow pox used to immunise against small pox by Edward Jenner that you learn about in biology at school. I guess that most viruses fall into the category of no lasting harm and prevent getting it again.

However you can't really generalise to say that "viruses are good for you" as some viruses are very bad for you indeed, like the Ebola virus which is fatal in about 60% of cases, though we don't have it in the UK.

Leaving that aside, as others have said, antibiotics work on bacteria not viruses, so there is no point giving them for a virus. And you certainly can't tell whether your DC have a virus or bacterial infection - your doctor is trained to do the best they can to make that assessment. Unless you are medically trained, I am not sure that you really have much hope of persuading a load of people on the internet that the doctor was wrong not to prescribe antibiotics.

MummyofIsla Wed 18-Dec-13 20:25:15

Sorry but viruses do hang around in children, excessive use of antibiotics really is not a good thing, it just makes their bodies less able to fight off infections on their own.

Fairly sure that not GP would allow a child to have a temp. of 39 for four weeks hmm

peggyundercrackers Wed 18-Dec-13 20:25:23

bohemiangirl your really quite rude, OP is obviously not an idiot - you should apologise since you have no idea what she was told by consultant in hospital.

whatever5 Wed 18-Dec-13 20:25:52

As you say, your GP is talking rubbish. Viruses are never good for you. At best they don't do much harm. At worse they can cause serious illness.

Antibiotics won't help if you have a viral infection though so there is no point taking them however seriously ill you are.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Wed 18-Dec-13 20:26:18

'I can just tell' doesn't quite cut it though unfortunately when you're asking for drugs that can do much more harm than good if given when not needed

I have seen many people saying the same as you, getting annoyed because a doctor won't prescribe anti-biotics, with many not realising they do sod all against viruses. There's always viruses going around at this time of the year.

Viruses 'drag on, get steadily worse' and are hard for little bodies to cope with. You just have to give them symptom relievers, it's all you can do.

It is hard when you see your children ill, and you think you know best, but GP's are trained to recognise these things. I'm not saying they're always right by the way, but you shouldn't just pooh pooh what they say

breatheslowly Wed 18-Dec-13 20:26:47

Is there a reason that your DS are ill a lot?

Edenviolet Wed 18-Dec-13 20:27:12

Usually around the 38 mark for four weeks (ds2) today at the drs it was 38.1 and that was 2 hours after calpol and 1 hour after nurofen. Last night it was 37.4.

Ds1 has had a temperature but he doesn't seem as bad as ds2. Dd1 and dd2 had the same but got over it after the first week.

sparklyma Wed 18-Dec-13 20:28:36

Kids get ill. Sometimes it takes a while to get better. Their immune system will fight it eventually. Antibiotics should only be used in extreme circumstances these days as bugs are becoming immune. It's a no brainer that the doctor won't give you antibiotics. I'd imagine 99% of docs would sat the same thing. You don't necessarily know best just because you're their mum. You aren't medically trained.

TwistedRib Wed 18-Dec-13 20:30:03

The diabetes/virus thing is right. My friend's daughter had a bad throat then developed Type 1 diabetes shortly after. The docs also said that was the cause.

NCISaddict Wed 18-Dec-13 20:30:38

You can have a temperature and be unwell with a virus.

Edenviolet Wed 18-Dec-13 20:31:09

Every time I've taken ds2 I've said how worried I am that he's had calpol and nurofen every day for a month. They told me sometimes viruses linger and that a cough can last for up to 8 weeks and its fine to have medicine every day.

This has happened so many times before, a prolonged apparent virus then suddenly dc very unwell and it turns out they have an ear I fiction/pus on tonsils/chest infection and need antibiotics in the end.

Dcs do get unwell a lot, have other health issues and seem prone to catching everything.

Edenviolet Wed 18-Dec-13 20:31:43

Infection not I fiction

AuntieStella Wed 18-Dec-13 20:32:09

I don't think anyone doubts that your DC have an infection. It's just a case of the likely causative microbe.

As minor ailments are self-limiting, by the time yo'e gone in to demand a prescription, the disease woul probably be going away anyhow.

And it's possible the placebo effect is in play here too

But, as you clearly have no faith in your GP, the best thing you could do now is to register with a different practice.

DisappointedHorse Wed 18-Dec-13 20:33:37

You do develop immunity to a virus but only that particular virus or a very similar strain. The common cold for example, there are hundreds of different viruses that cause it.

DC2 used to get febrile convulsions with a raised temperature. They certainly weren't good for him.

Backonthefence Wed 18-Dec-13 20:34:13

Antibiotics don't help with viruses, prescribing them in that situation would be stupid.

1) They wouldn't help
2) The persons immune system wont be as good
3) Excessive use of antibiotics is leading to the rise of many resistant bacteria.

TwistedRib Wed 18-Dec-13 20:35:23

OP a high temp doesn't indicate a bacterial infection though. It just means the immune system is fighting something. There's a good chance that your DC's would get better anyway.
It's also really easy to get fixated with the numbers of a child's temperature. Sometimes it's best just to asses how they are in themselves.
If you ever have to go to hospital, the last thing you want is to be hit with an antibiotic resistant bacteria. Sadly it's the prescribing of antibiotics without proven bacterial infection which has caused these nasties to occur, and it's only going to get worse.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 18-Dec-13 20:35:25

That's quite high for quite a long time. I wonder if it's just been one virus followed by another, rather than one lasting a month?

Edenviolet Wed 18-Dec-13 20:37:27

I wasn't saying I wanted anti b for a virus. I think ds 1 will get better as dds did but ds2 def seems to have developed more than a virus. I know it seems silly saying "I can tell" but I can. Have seen dcs ill so often that there's quite a difference between an infection and a cold/virus.

I just think the gp was wrong to generalise that viruses are good for dcs.

happybubblebrain Wed 18-Dec-13 20:38:03

I think the body needs to catch viruses so it learns how to fight them, especially when young. If the battle is always fought for you (by antibiotics/medicines) your body is less able in the long-run. That is common sense to me. Treat the really serious stuff, ignore the rest.

Edenviolet Wed 18-Dec-13 20:38:38

It could be one thing after another, he's just so unwell and unhappy.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 18-Dec-13 20:39:16

YABU. How do you know they have bacterial infections? Why some people seem to think antibiotics are the answer to everything, I don't know!

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 18-Dec-13 20:40:09

There is no way to tell if an infection is viral or bacterial without testing? Seriously, you cannot just tell!

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