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Coughs, Colds, Sneezes and Wheezes

Coughs, sneezes and wheezes are all signs of various respiratory infections – that is, infections of the nose, throat, airways and lungs. These infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses.  Although many people tend to think of viral infections as being less ‘serious’ than bacterial infections, this is not necessarily so. Many viral illnesses can be very serious. In addition, we have antibiotics to kill most bacteria. In contrast, anti-viral medications are only in the early stages of development and are not readily available to the general public (except in a few particular cases, such as for herpes infections). This chapter discusses conditions that cause ‘coughs, colds, sneezes and wheezes,’ the signs and symptoms and treatment of various respiratory infections.

Contents include

  • Causes of respiratory infections
  • Common colds
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Mycoplasma
  • Croup, epiglottitis and whooping cough
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Author / Editor Biographies

Gerry has many years of paediatric nursing experience, including 16 years in the Emergency Department of the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. The last 10 years at this renowned hospital were spent as a clinical nurse educator. Gerry currently works part-time as a paediatric nurse educator at the Angliss Hospital in Melbourne and runs her own business in paediatric health education. Her teaching is consistently highly evaluated by participants who attend her lectures. Gerry is also the author of the highly successful Ausmed book entitled Care of Sick Children: A Basic Guide.

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