Austin Dillon, a young resident of Dallas, Texas, has become the latest person to be diagnosed with a highly contagious strain of a virus that has been affecting children in the area. Known as Mumps, this viral infection has also been responsible for causing serious cases of encephalitis in adults. At first glance, Austin may appear to have only a mild case of the virus, since the disease rarely produces symptoms. However, Austin is suffering from an extremely high fever and feels fatigued, as if he’s had a lot of sleep.
A CT scan and ultrasound are the next steps for Austin and his parents, Frank and Geneva, to take in order to determine whether Austin is suffering from a Mumps diagnosis. The results will indicate whether or not Austin may have a mild or even severe case of this illness. Once these tests have been completed, the doctors will move on to testing for Staphylococcus aureus and Lactobacillus. This will help determine if Austin has been infected by a strain of this virus that has yet to be found in the United States. They will also need to conduct blood tests to see what Austin’s illness is made of.
Austin is scheduled to have a series of tests performed to confirm if he indeed has Mumps. In an effort to make sure that Austin’s illness is not a false positive, the doctor will write a prescription for an antibiotic. This will allow Austin to recover from his Mumps quickly while also avoiding the embarrassing and costly costs of prescription treatment. The first of the Mumps tests is done at the hospital. Austin’s doctor will collect a urine sample from him to be sent to the lab for analysis. The results of the urine test can determine whether Austin has been infected with the virus.
Next, Austin will be given a skin test called a titer test. This test will look to see if Austin has contracted Mumps or not. If the test comes out positive, the doctor will write an order for an isolation procedure where the physician will take a sample of Austin’s skin for future testing. This will allow Austin to be treated for the illness before he is sent home with a referral for follow-up care.
Culture will also be conducted on Austin’s blood samples. This will allow the doctors to learn more about the virus that has caused Austin’s illness. Because of the sensitive nature of this illness, the doctor will only allow this to be done on an outpatient basis. When Austin is sent home, he will be quarantined and should stay in his room until he has been given the all-clear from the testing. The doctor may also instruct Austin to avoid any contact with the entire family until he has had the illness removed from his body.
Because Austin has already had two illnesses, parents will likely want to have him tested for Hepatitis A and B. These are the two most common forms of the virus that can cause illness. Hepatitis A is often associated with a hardier strain of the virus, while B is usually associated with a children strain that causes Austin’s illness. If your child does test positive for either hepatitis A or B virus, the Texas Department of State Health Services will provide more specific testing for them at a later date.
The next thing that will happen is that the Austin family will go to their regular doctor’s office for confirmation. A medical professional will take a look at the urine and blood samples that have been provided to them. Then they will work to see if the virus has been contained within Austin. During this process, the illness will be further assessed and treatment options discussed. A diagnosis of “colonized” will be made, which means that Austin’s immune system has become compromised and there is a chance of a recurrence of the illness.
Screening for this virus is not typically required for individuals who are immunocompromised. However, individuals with suppressed immune systems should be screening for this virus as well as those who are predisposed to developing it. Those with pre-existing illnesses or who are HIV-positive should also consider these types of testing because Austin’s illness may be an indicator of a more serious illness.