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Fever is the body’s response to an infection. How high the fever is does not indicate how serious the infection is. In other words, often times high fevers are caused by viral infection and lower to mid range fevers may occur with more serious infections such as pneumonia. It is important to recognize that the fever is not the illness, it is just a sign that there is an infection. Treating the fever does not treat the infection.
The most common cause of an earache is a middle ear infection. The ear drum and the space behind it are infected. These are treated with oral antibiotics. The pain should be significantly less after 3 days. If not, you should call your provider.
Your ear may hurt for other reasons. Sometimes it is the ear canal that is infected (“swimmers ear”). These are treated with ear drops. It may hurt because the throat next to the ear is painful. Sometimes it could be from a dental infection. There are a number of other causes.
There are many causes of diarrhea. Most commonly, it is a viral infection that given enough time will go away on its own. Viral infections usually do not cause significant abdominal pain. If the diarrhea is bloody or has mucous (slippery stuff), it may be more serious. If there is abdominal pain, fever, chills with the diarrhea it may be more serious. We will take your history and examine you. Depending on your condition, we may need to send blood tests, send stool for testing or possibly send you to a hospital.
Back pain is one of the common reasons people come to the clinic. The pain may be from the muscles in the back or from the spine, the back bones themselves. It may be from the discs that separate each of the back bones (vertebrae). On rare occasions it may be from an internal organ such as a kidney. The provider will talk to you about the history of the back pain and then do an exam looking at the parts of the body that may be causing the pain. Depending on your case, we may need to do imaging (x-ray, CT or MRI) or possibly do blood or urine testing
Vomiting can occur from many different causes. It is usually associated with nausea, the upset stomach feeling that feels like you are about to vomit. Much like fever, vomiting is just a sign that there is a health problem. It is not the problem itself.
Viral upper respiratory infections are very common. They usually cause nasal congestion and some degree of coughing. The person usually feels like they have a “cold”. If other people close to them either had symptoms shortly before they got sick or shortly afterwards, it is a good sign that it is viral. Antibiotics will not help treat these infections. Over the counter medication for congestion or coughing will help with the symptoms, but the infection will resolve when the persons body fights it off with their immune system.