A 10-month-old child, immunised appropriately for age, presented with a history of cough, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased work of breathing and eye redness for 1 week. She was treated for suspected bronchiolitis with supportive oxygen and hypertonic saline nebulisation. In view of continuing fever spikes and persistent oxygen requirement, she was evaluated further. Her inflammatory markers were raised, blood film showed neutrophils left shift with toxic granulations and chest X-ray was suggestive of the right upper lobe segmental atelectasis suggestive of a bacterial infection. Her nasopharyngeal aspirate for multiplex tandem PCR was positive for adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and Bordetella species. She was treated with oral clarithromycin for 5 days which improved her symptoms. She was discharged with further follow-up. Coinfection with bacteria or atypical bacteria in children with acute respiratory tract infection is common and this coinfection can induce serious illness.
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