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How is an infection diagnosed in a baby?

The doctors want to find out if your baby is ill from bacteria. To do this, your baby will have several tests to study the urine, the blood, and the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Your baby will receive viral testing and antibiotics because antibiotics fight bacterial infections. Your baby will receive the antibiotics through a tiny tube (IV) placed in the vein of his foot, ankle, hand, arm, or scalp.

After 24 to 36 hours, the doctors will know whether bacteria have been found in your baby's body fluid. Often, no bacteria are found, and your baby can safely go home without antibiotics or other medicines. He probably had a cold or another viral illness. If a bacterial infection is found, you child will receive antibiotics.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.