Health Center

What's Going Around: Stomach bug, rashes, seasonal allergies

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics continued to see a steady rise in seasonal allergy symptoms.

In the younger age groups, ear infections continue to be the most common diagnosis.

They have seen a rise in croup and the stomach bug, particularly diarrhea cases, and continue to see a lot of viral illnesses with fevers.

Rashes of various sorts have increased, including molluscum, impetigo, poison ivy, and post-viral rashes.

Overall, flu cases continued to fall. Sore throat cases decreased as well, though, of the cases seen, strep rose back to about 50 percent.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about molluscum:

"The molluscum virus uses the body's own skin cells to build a little hut around itself. This "hut" is dome-like and appears as a smooth pearl on the skin that has a little dimple in the center. This rash, unfortunately, can last for weeks or even months, because the virus hides from the immune system by surrounding itself with body cells that are familiar to the immune cells. When molluscum is eventually discovered and killed off by the immune system, the domes will become red and scabbed before going away altogether.

While present, molluscum lesions do not hurt and typically do not itch. However, the lesions are very contagious and can be spread through touching or transfer on shared clothing, towels, etc. Topical treatments like freezing are typically not effective and cause scarring.

Though the lesions associated with poison ivy can also have a dome-like appearance, they are fluid-filled and intensely itchy. The poison ivy rash is also typically very red due to the inflammatory reaction of the skin's immune system to the poison ivy oils. Though this rash can be caused by the oils transferring to the skin from surfaces such as shoes, dog fur, etc., the fluid inside the bumps of poison ivy is actually made up of immune cells and does not spread the rash further.

If you are concerned about any rash, it's worth a call to your child's doctor. The following should be evaluated: any rash that causes swelling or pain in the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth, anus, urethra); any rash with concurrent wheezing; or any rash that does not blanch (the color cannot be pushed out of the rash when you use your hand to place pressure)."

Geisinger Holy Spirit Pediatrics in Cumberland and Dauphin counties reported strep throat, colds, and seasonal allergies.

Providers are still seeing a lot of viral upper respiratory infections at Penn State Children's Hospital and Penn State Health Medical Group. Pediatricians report they are seeing an uptick in playground and outdoor play injuries as the weather warms up. Be sure to use the proper precautions and protective gear, including bike helmets, knee pads, things of that nature.


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