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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: 10 year old girl - normal WBC count - throwing up - no fever

 rnc505 - Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:57 am


My parents asked me to post on this forums to try to see what is wrong is my sister.


For the past week my sister has been unable to go to school because of constant vomiting. The first two days it was just pure throwing up. Then in the days that followed (day 3 - 6), she had low grade fever, aches, and other flu like symptoms. On day 6, my parents took her to the ER. They gave her a whole bag of IV fluid because she was dehydrated. For the past day or two (and today) she is experiencing vomiting once or twice a day. When they took her to the ER, they took a blood test:

Her WBC cell count was 6.8 - normal

The only abnormalities were her Hemoglobin and Hematocrit (both above high normal) and her chloride serum (below low normal). The doctors told my parents that the reason for the abnormalities was the fact that she was very dehydrated. They didn't find a bacterial infection, so they figured it was just a virus of the lining of the stomach. After she was giving the IV fluid, all of her flu symptoms disappeared immediately. Now, I'm no doctor (I'm a high school student), but I know enough about science to know that a virus would cause her WBC count to fluctuate as the body starts to prepare to attack the virus. To me, a normal WBC cell count indicates that the body doesn't think anything is wrong and therefore it cannot be a virus. So the next idea is that it is a Gastro problem. We have all of the blood test results, so if you would like to see more of them, please let me know.

She has had these symptoms in the past the most recent about 2 months ago.

Of course today is Saturday and no Gastro is working today.

Thank you all.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:50 pm

User avatar Hi there -

Hopefully by now your sister is feeling fine. This post was here for quite a while and I've been trying to clear up strays.

It really does sound like your sister had a classic gastrointestinal virus. The white count with viral infections is generally normal to low, as opposed to what you'd see with a bacterial infection (a lot higher than normal). Your observation about the white count fluctuating is a good point, but two things undermine it: first, in the course of fluctuating, it is going to have normal as a mid-point. This is just chance, but is more likely than it being elevated, at least with viral infections. Second, the virus had already take a foothold, so the white count would have stabilized anyway.

I'm glad to find someone who's paid so much attention in science studies as well as someone who's concerned enough to do this work for her sister. Again, hopefully by now she's feeling fine. Please follow up with us and give us an update. Best of luck to you.

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