What’s Going Around: COVID-19, seasonal allergies, ear infections, colds

What's Going Around

WellSpan pediatric medicine physicians across southcentral Pa. are seeing some seasonal allergies on the rise. Stomach bugs are in the mix as well as sinus infections. They are seeing more sports related injuries as people are getting outdoors with warmer weather.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports ear infections and upper respiratory infections that are negative for COVID-19.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports strep throat, a big bump in seasonal allergies, ongoing ear infections, viral illnesses and diarrhea. COVID-19 cases held steady from last week’s numbers.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about seasonal allergies:

“Seasonal allergies occur due to the release of histamine, a chemical that aids the immune system in its job. In the case of seasonal allergies, a high amount of histamine is released into the bloodstream, which causes runny nose, congestion, itchy, watery eyes, and sneezing. Antihistamine medications work by preventing histamine from bonding to histamine receptors in the body, which keeps symptoms from occurring. These medications are designed to be taken daily to maintain a constant state of histamine control. There are also antihistamine eye drops for eye symptoms that persist despite the oral antihistamine. Nasal sprays do not affect histamine but rather calm the immune system reaction in the nose to help decrease congestion related to allergies.

Unfortunately, there is no clinical sign that differentiates COVID-19-related nasal mucous vs. allergy-related nasal mucous. If your child has a known history of seasonal allergies, it’s not too soon to start the antihistamine medication regimen now. If your child has a history of allergies but currently has a lot of nasal mucous and nasal congestion, in the current context with slowly up-creeping numbers of COVID-19 cases, it’s still prudent to have your child COVID-tested.”

This week, pediatricians at Penn State Children’s Hospital are seeing COVID-19, colds, upper respiratory viruses and allergies.

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