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Overview of Bacterial Infections in Children

By

Geoffrey A. Weinberg

, MD, Golisano Children’s Hospital

Last full review/revision May 2020| Content last modified May 2020
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Topic Resources

Bacteria Overview of Bacteria Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms. They are among the earliest known life forms on earth. There are thousands of different kinds of bacteria, and they live in every conceivable... read more are microscopic, single-celled organisms. Only some bacteria cause disease in people. Other bacteria live inside the intestinal tract, genitourinary tract, or on the skin without causing harm. Some bacteria are even thought to help keep people healthy.

Did You Know...

  • Not all bacteria cause disease or infections.

Risk of bacterial infections in children

Certain children are at particular risk of bacterial infections.

High-risk children include

Diagnosis of Bacterial Infections in Children

  • Tests of blood, body fluids, or tissue samples

  • Culture

Prevention of Bacterial Infections in Children

  • Routine immunization

Bacterial Infections Preventable With Routine Immunization*

Treatment of Bacterial Infections in Children

  • Antibiotics

  • Sometimes also surgery

Doctors may treat certain potentially serious childhood infections with antibiotics before they have the culture results. When results are obtained, the antibiotics are continued or changed as needed. If no bacteria are found, antibiotics may be stopped.

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