Child Illness Differential Diagnosis Discussion

History: The mother tells you that symptoms started about 1 week ago. The only unusual event she remembers occurred about a month ago. The child attended a local fair where the child ate food and drank from the concession stands. He also played in a petting zoo, running around barefoot in the enclosure.

To begin, you want to narrow down the possibilities for the cause of the child’s illness by doing differential diagnosis. Because the child does not suffer from chronic disease, you can rule this out (in real life you would not, but this is a microbiology class so we will assume there is a microbial cause). Complete the following:

Based on the symptoms alone, list the major types (group) of pathogens (there should be several) that could be associated with these symptoms. Do not narrow down to a pathogenic species at this stage because if you are guessing wrong, then you could be following a route that would exclude the actual agent of disease.

Looking at the history, explain whether you are able to exclude any group of pathogens (i.e. timing, potential route of infection, etc.)?

As a medical professional, name 2 different medical tests that could be used to determine the presence of pathogens (hint: What might you collect to test for the possibility of an infectious agent during the patients visit).

  1. Name 2 laboratory tests (you have already completed several in lab) that you could run on the sample you collected, to confirm the presence of pathogens that could be the cause of the disease.
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