How to Care for Your Child with Viral Myositis

This leaflet will provide you with information about Viral Myositis causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and home care advice.

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How to Care for Your Child with Viral Myositis

What is Viral Myositis?

Viral Myositis is inflammation or swelling of the muscle during or after a viral illness

What are the causes of Viral Myositis?

The influenza virus is one of most commonly reported viruses associated with Myositis and may present with other viral illnesses

What are the symptoms of Viral Myositis?

  • Fever, flu symptoms
  • Loss of appetite for food
  • Joint Pain
  • Symptoms related to the lung or the stomach and intestines tract (diarrhea, vomiting)
  • Muscle weakness and swelling
  • Child refuses to walk and instead crawls or toe walks  
  • Pain in the calves that resolves quickly, usually within three days
  • Sometimes dark, red or brown urine

How is Viral Myositis diagnosed?

  • The doctor will ask a few questions about your child’s health and examine your child. Your child’s doctor will decide if further investigation or blood tests are required.
  • In most cases, the diagnosis is based on patient’s symptoms, history and physical examination features.
  • Your child does not need a blood test to reach the diagnosis.  

How is Viral Myositis treated?

The majority of cases are self-limited and get better with supportive management such as:

  • Rest
  • Pain killer medication
  • Adequate hydration. 

Home care advice:

  • Ensure that your child drinks adequate fluids
  • Ensure that your child gets enough rest
  • If the muscle pain is causing discomfort to your child, the doctor would advise to give medicine for the pain, for example:
    • Paracetamol or Ibuprofen (any brand). Follow the instruction on the medicine package for the correct dose for your child

When should I seek medical advice?

Seek medical advice if:

  • Your child’s symptoms get worse
  • Your child has a high fever
  • Muscle pain, swelling or weakness gets worse or spreads to a new area of the body.
  • Your child has joint swelling
  • Your child has signs of dehydration like:
    • Urine is less than usual.
    • Does not have tears when crying
    • Being less active than usual  
  • Skin rash that does not fade away when you press with clear glass.

Go to the Emergency Department if your child:

  • Has severe muscle pain and tenderness
  • Is unable to walk.
  • Refuses to drink or seems too sick to drink enough.
  • Has dark, red or brown urine.