What’s Going Around: Colds, croup, flu concerns

Health

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics saw a continued increase in gastroenteritis, or a stomach bug, seasonal allergy symptoms and bronchiolitis.

They have seen a lot of viral colds, many with fevers. They have also seen a small increase in hand, foot and mouth disease.

With the increase in colds has come an increase in asthma exacerbations, as well as a lot of cough concerns.

They have seen walking pneumonia cases stay steady, mostly in elementary and middle school-aged kids. They have not seen flu yet, though it has been seen in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about gastroenteritis:

“The formal name of the “GI bug” is gastroenteritis, or inflammation of the GI tract (from mouth to rectum). Symptoms often start with vomiting and end with diarrhea, though they can start simultaneously or within the same 24-hour period. Vomiting often resolves pretty quickly. Diarrhea, however, often lasts longer – especially in younger kids — with a slow improvement over a week or more.

Because water is the main thing lost with diarrhea, hydration is the primary goal for a child with acute gastroenteritis. Electrolyte solutions such as Pedialyte can be used for vomiting or diarrhea, keeping in mind that water should be the primary form of rehydration. While the electrolytes in products like Gatorade can be slightly helpful in severe diarrhea cases, the high sugar content negates this benefit and typically makes the diarrhea worse.

Please note that while water is the most ideal hydration for children over 12 months, babies younger than 12 months still have immature kidneys, so hydration efforts should be coordinated with your child’s doctor.

Children of any age who cannot keep down any fluids due to vomiting and/or are showing signs of dehydration (decreased urine output, fewer tears, dry mouth, cracked lips) should be evaluated by their doctor. “

WellSpan Health pediatric medicine physicians continue to see numerous bug bites and stings, as well as common colds and viral cases of croup. Sports injuries continue to be seen as we move through the fall sports season.

This week, pediatricians at Penn State Children’s Hospital and Penn State Health Medical Group are seeing a lot of cases of viral upper respiratory illnesses, the common cold, and some cases of croup. Pediatricians would like to remind parents to make sure kids get flu vaccinations.

The CVS MinuteClinic in Lancaster reported the following this week:

“Flu vaccine is our most requested visit over the past week. Recommendations from Centers for Disease Control are to vaccinate all persons aged 6 months and up. There are many vaccine products on the market targeting particular age groups. Aged 65 and up are eligible to receive High Dose flu vaccine which has a higher amount of the antigen to help boost the immune system to make appropriate antibodies. We have vaccine for egg allergic patients. Now is the time to come in. We are predicted to have an above average flu vaccine and it is shown to reduce complications of the flu.

We have seen some patients with complaints of red eye, itching, and clear discharge. Over-the-counter antihistamines like Claritin or Zyrtec help. A visit to a health care provider will help determine the cause of red eye, ruling out bacterial. Eye drops over the counter include Zaditor or Naphcon. Prescriptions include Pazeo and Patanol. Natural tears also help in rinsing allergens from the eye.

We have seen some flu like-illness with fever, body aches, headache and severe cold symptoms. A rapid flu test is available to help rule out influenza. Medications include over the counter fever reducers and cough and cold medicines. Evaluation by a health care provider to rule out influenza and make over-the-counter recommendations is important as many of these medications can cause side effects and interact with prescriptions.”

At the CVS MinuteClinic in York, we have seen an increase in upper respiratory infections and a case of strep throat.

There’s also been an increase in the amount of flu vaccines being given. Wellness screenings continue.

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