What’s Going Around: Flu, strep throat, stomach bug

Health

This week, UPMC Pinnacle providers in Camp Hill are continuing to see influenza and they are starting to see more strep throat.

The most important prevention of strep throat is to not share any drinks or food as it is spread through saliva very easily.

“Influenza and strep throat are very contagious,” Dr. Kathleen Zimmerman said. “We are recommending that children stay out of school for at least one or two days after the fever is completely gone. If the fever goes away with fever reducer medicine that does not mean that the infection is gone. Parents need to see the fever gone for over 24 hours without any medicine. Also, especially with influenza, we are recommending that children stay out of school for up to a full week because they need more rest to fully recover from influenza and also the coughing will spread influenza to other students.”

WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across Central Pa. are reporting both strains of the flu virus, influenza A and B, as well as strep throat in their communities.

This past week at the CVS MinuteClinic in York, they saw a few cases of influenza, both A and B, viral upper respiratory infections, viral gastroenteritis, and pharyngitis, both viral and strep.

The CVS MinuteClinic in Lancaster saw a lot of viral gastroenteritis in pediatric patients, also known as the stomach flu. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Evaluation at a health care provider can determine if symptoms are more acute, such as appendicitis, and need further workup. Home treatment includes fluids and over-the-counter fever reducers. A mild diet is recommended until symptoms improve. You should monitor for blood in stools or vomit and signs of dehydration.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics treated a lot of sick kids this week. They continue to see a lot of bronchiolitis in younger age groups, as well as an increase in influenza and flu-like illnesses.

Strep cases slightly increased. Cases of sinusitis and ear infections remain high, along with colds and viral illnesses.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about flu complications:

“The most common complication that results from flu is pneumonia. In severe cases, this can lead to respiratory failure and the need for assisted ventilation. Symptoms to watch for include shortness of breath, worsening wet cough in context of fevers, chest tightness and chest pain.

·Flu can affect the heart, causing a condition called myocarditis, wherein the tissues become inflamed and the heart functions less efficiently. Symptoms to watch for include worsening fatigue, chest pain, chest pressure and shortness of breath.

Fevers can cause seizures, and the intense syndrome of throat pain, fatigue and muscle pain can lead to dehydration.

Babies younger than six months are at the highest risk for death related to the flu, as their immune systems are not as strong and they are unable to be vaccinated until after age six months.

Young kids, under age five, particularly age two or younger, are at the highest risk for complications requiring hospital admission.

Children with the following conditions are also at higher risk for flu complications: chronic respiratory disease, including asthma and cystic fibrosis; decreased immune function, including from HIV or medications that suppress the immune system; and conditions such as chronic kidney disease, sickle cell disease and diabetes.”

Visit https://www.lancastergeneralhealth.org/health-hub-home/2018/february/why-the-flu-is-killing-healthy-kids-and-what-you-can-do-about-it to read Dr. Thode’s blog post on why the flu can kill healthy kids and what you can do about it.

There’s much of the same going around this week at Penn State Children’s Hospital, including respiratory viruses, colds and the flu.

Geisinger Holy Spirit Primary Care in Perry County reports upper respiratory infections.

Geisinger Holy Spirit Pediatrics in Cumberland County reports bronchiolitis, a stomach virus with vomiting and diarrhea, RSV, upper respiratory infections, colds and the flu.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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