(WHTM) — This week, the providers of UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics in York and Spring Grove are continuing to see COVID-19, flu, RSV, and viral syndrome.
WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across the Midstate are seeing RSV, croup, influenza A, and asthma and allergy flares.
This week, pediatricians at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital are seeing a lot of common colds and cases of COVID. They are also seeing some upper respiratory viruses and stomach bugs.
The CVS MinuteClinic in York also saw upper respiratory viruses and COVID-19.
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics is seeing many fevers for a myriad of reasons this week, the most popular being enterovirus, influenza, strep throat, RSV, and adenovirus.
They have seen influenza officially several times, all Type A.
Strep throat took a sharp increase. They are also seeing a sharp increase in pneumonia.
Dr. Joan Thode is offering the following advice about the flu:
“Influenza is a group of viruses that causes a syndrome of fevers, chills, extreme fatigue, muscle aches, congestion, cough, headache and sore throat. These symptoms occur due to the virus invading the cells of the body, as well as the immune system’s attack of the body’s cells in an attempt to kill the virus that invaded them. When there is a body-wide immune attack on flu-invaded cells, tissues and organs can be damaged to the point of not functioning. That is when the flu can become dangerous and deadly. The time is now to get your family vaccinated for the flu.
“How the flu shot works: Influenza rapidly changes its outward appearance. While the core structure of the flu stays the same, the tiny molecules that adorn its surface can change rapidly. It’s hard to create a flu vaccine that primes the immune system’s memory cells to recognize the surface of the flu, because that surface changes! That’s why, unlike other vaccines, the flu shot is never perfect. BUT that’s also why the makers of the flu vaccine include not only pieces of the predicted surface molecules but ALSO pieces of the core structure of the flu that doesn’t change. This is where getting the flu shot can be lifesaving.
“Think of it like a high school reunion. Though your acquaintances may have changed their hairstyle, put on a little weight or started wearing glasses since high school, you would still recognize them because their face, laugh and personality, their “core,” don’t drastically change. If you ran into one of these prior acquaintances while out running errands, you would have some recognition, even if you couldn’t immediately recall their name.
“This is how flu vaccines work. The flu will change its “hairstyle” and outward appearance every season, but by giving your immune cells a taste not only of the predicted “hairstyle” but also of the core molecule, your immune system will have some familiarity with it. And when memory immune cells recognize something—even partially—they sound the alert and activate the immune system.
“The flu virus moves fast to invade our body’s cells, but when the immune system is primed to recognize pieces of it, the defense process starts sooner. Yes, you may still be unlucky enough to get the flu infection despite getting the shot, but with an armed immune system, you will have a decreased severity of the illness that can be lifesaving.
“You can’t get the flu from the flu shot because the intact virus is not in the shot. There are just a few pieces of the influenza structure to give your immune system enough of a taste to learn how to identify it. As with any shot, your immune system will be activated, which uses a lot of energy and may make you feel a bit tired. But your symptoms are not the true flu, and your cells are not being destroyed as they are with the flu.”