Treatment and Prevention

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Vitamin D supplements in therapeutic doses is the treatment of choice. Rickets can be prevented by making sure the infant is getting enough vitamin D, which is not difficult in the United states because virtually all cow's milk and all standard infant formulas are manufactured with added vitamin D. In addition, supplements are available for premature babies, vegetarians, and others who may not otherwise get enough vitamin D. Doctors often recommend vitamin D supplements to nursing mothers who are also vegetarians and who have dark skin. Foods that are high in vitamin D include liver, some fish, cod liver oil, egg yolks, butter, and vitamin D-fortified milk, margarine, and cereal.

rickettsial infections Diseases caused by the bite or feces of insects carrying parasitic microorganisms called rickettsia. These diseases include rocky mountain spotted fever and various forms of typhus. Most rickettsial infections cause a fever and rash, although the fatality rate differs from one variety of illness to the next.

ringworm (tinea) A skin infection caused by a fungus that can affect a child's scalp, skin, fingers, toenails, or feet. The disease has nothing to do with either worms or rings. scalp ringworm is the most common fungal infection in children.

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