What’s Going Around: Bronchiolitis, stomach bugs, summer colds, swimmer’s ear

What's Going Around

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports a sharp increase in bronchiolitis. Strep throat continued at a high rate. They also saw increased viral symptoms, including coughs.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about bronchiolitis:

“Bronchiolitis is a virus-induced inflammation of the tiniest of the airways, which typically affects babies and toddlers. The small airways can swell shut/fill with mucous, which prevents oxygen from getting to the air sacs at the end. The air sacs are where oxygen is transferred to the blood, so if the air can’t get there, the body will have an oxygen deficit, which causes the symptoms. The lungs have millions of these air sacs, so most babies affected will be able to compensate by using the ones that aren’t swollen shut.

All babies with bronchiolitis will have a wet-sounding cough, but signs to watch for that indicate a more serious issue with breathing include sustained fast breathing, using the belly to breathe, having an exaggerated expansion of the rib cage with every breath, inability to eat or drink due to the fast breathing, and any purple or blue color around the mouth or lips. It’s always important to have your child examined by their doctor for any concerns with breathing.

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 then 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.”

WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across Central Pa. are seeing eczema, poison ivy and other rashes, a return of swimmer’s ear, stomach bugs and colds. They have seen far less COVID-19 positive pediatric patient in recent weeks.

UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics in York and Spring Grove continue to see viral illnesses. They have seen some children that have developed ear infections as a secondary infection following the initial viral illness.

Often, ear infections do not develop until five to seven days after the initial viral symptoms. Signs of ear infection are trouble sleeping, fussiness, ear pain, prolonged fever for greater than three days, or a new fever after the fever had already resolved for a couple of days. If your child develops any of these symptoms, they should definitely be seen by their provider.

They are also continuing to see patients with allergy symptoms; runny nose, itchy nose and eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, and sometimes an itchy or scratchy throat from the post-nasal drainage. Allergies should never cause a fever. And although some children feel a bit tired from their allergy symptoms, they should still be able to go to school and be active through the day. If your child appears ill, feverish and complaining of a sore throat, is eating less, or has a wet cough, this is not likely allergies, and you should take them to their medical provider. Most cases of allergic rhinitis respond well to over-the-counter antihistamines. Ask your doctor or medical provider which antihistamine would be best for your child.

This week, pediatricians at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital have seen a decline in patients with COVID-19, although there are still a few. They are seeing patients with summer colds and upper respiratory viruses.

Pediatricians at Penn State Health Medical Group locations in Cumberland County are seeing summer colds, viral sore throats, stomach bugs, tick bites, bug bites, poison ivy and swimmer’s ear.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York treated patients with tinea versicolor, which is a fungal skin infection, and ringworm.

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