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


In addition to viruses causing sore throats, UPMC Pinnacle in Camp Hill is also starting to see more strep throat.

Strep throat typically causes a sudden onset of sore throat, painful swallowing, headache, decreased appetite and sometimes vomiting. Often there is a fever and sometimes there is a fine red rash on the face and chest and groin as well. Usually, there are not cold symptoms like cough or runny nose, although the nose can feel congested.

Strep throat needs to be treated with an antibiotic. If your child has these symptoms they should be seen by a medical provider. There are many viruses that mimic strep, and the only way to know is to get a throat swab performed in the office. Some tests give immediate results and some take a couple of days at a lab.

The CVS MinuteClinic in Lancaster saw the following this week:

“We have seen many patients with a primary complaint of cough. Coughs can be caused by allergies, viruses or bacteria. Most commonly this time of year is a virus. Patients can take over-the-counter medications like Mucinex or Delsym. Coughs can persist for two to four weeks. If accompanied by fever, chills, body aches, shortness of breath, or wheezing evaluation by a health care provider is necessary. Natural treatments include rest, fluids, hot tea with honey/lemon and vaporizer for sleep.

We have seen many patients presenting with ear pain. Many have had a recent cold and/or a history of allergies. Ear infections can be viral or bacterial. Severe pain, bilateral presentation and age are deciding factors if antibiotics are needed. Many can be treated with over-the-counter cold medicines and pain or fever reducers.

We have seen a few cases of flu. Fever, body aches and sore throat are the predominant symptoms. Prompt treatment is necessary if anti-virals are needed. Over-the-counter treatments include Tylenol and Advil to manage pain and fever. Complications of the flu include pneumonia and secondary bacterial infections of the sinus or ear. It is not too late to get a flu shot. We will see flu into May of 2020.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York saw sinusitis, strep throat, conjunctivitis and the common cold.

Geisinger Holy Spirit Primary Care in Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry and York counties saw a stomach bug with vomiting, diarrhea and fever, and upper respiratory issues including cough, sinus congestion, sore throat, fever and headache.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics saw an increase in bronchiolitis in babies and a few more cases of influenza within various-aged patients.

They continued to see fevers and lots of colds. Ear infections and sinusitis remain in high numbers. Wheezing due to asthma and bronchiolitis has been a major symptom treated in the office.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about bronchiolitis:

“Babies and toddlers are notorious for wet-sounding coughs whenever they get sick. This is more commonly due to nasal drainage in the throat but sometimes can indicate a more serious infection or inflammation of the lungs. It can be impossible to tell the difference in the cough sound between these two disease processes, but the good news is that you don’t need to! The cough sound is not as concerning as the baby or child’s work of breathing. Regardless of the cause, if the child appears to be using a lot of energy and effort to get each breath, it is time for medical evaluation and diagnosis.

Bronchiolitis is a virus-induced inflammation of the tiniest airways in the lungs, which typically affects babies and toddlers.

Bronchiolitis follows a very typical course: It gets worse over the first four days, then starts to improve. The wet cough lasts during that time and for about one to two weeks afterward. There is unfortunately no treatment to make bronchiolitis go away faster. The only treatment, if needed, is to provide oxygen to the baby to help maximize use of the air sacs that are still open. Our best advice is to trust your gut as a parent that your child’s breathing isn’t quite right and bring them to medical attention sooner rather than later.

As the lungs get rid of the excess mucous of bronchiolitis, the patient will have a post-infection cough that will sound wet as that mucous is coughed up and out of the lungs.”

This week, pediatricians at Penn State Children’s Hospital have seen an uptick in cases of upper respiratory virus. They’re seeing a few more cases of the flu and still seeing colds and stomach viruses.

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

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