Treatment of chest infections

The dilemma of whether to prescribe antibiotics for the common presentation of a young child with a fever and a cough is commonplace in the community setting.

It is something that is guided perhaps by the mantra that most common infections in young children are viral and will not respond to antibiotics.

However, the challenge remains to make the diagnosis of more serious bacterial illnesses, such as bacterial pneumonia following a viral infection, in young children.