A urinary tract infection is an infection caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract. In most cases, the infection occurs in the lower urinary tract, which includes the urethra and bladder, although infections can progress to the upper tract and affect the kidneys.
Obstructions and blockages in the urinary tract can also increase the risk of infection, while a weakened immune system and urinary structures that are abnormally developed from birth can also put your child at risk. Bacteria are the main cause. Chronic constipation is another risk factor for urinary tract infections.
The most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a burning sensation during urination, as well as the need to urinate more frequently than usual. In some cases, urine may appear bloody, cloudy, or dark and have a strong smell. Commonly, patients present with a fever as well as diarrhoea and vomiting.
In most cases, urinary tract infections can be treated with the use of antibiotics. If you think that your child may have a urinary tract infection, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Infections can worsen if left untreated over time. A simple urine dipstix test, done in Dr Moodley’s rooms, may be a quick screening tool to determine the possibility of a urinary tract infection. The urine may then need to be sent to a laboratory for further testing to determine the bacteria involved.
Further investigations including a special scan of the kidneys and bladder may be necessary.