(WHTM) — WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across the Midstate are seeing influenza A and COVID-19.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports a lot of strep throat this week. They’re also seeing COVID, the flu, and a few cases of pink eye.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports a lot of influenza A this week. They’re also seeing a lot of viruses with fevers, including a virus that can cause bronchiolitis in babies and croup in toddlers and young kids.

They also saw a sharp increase in cases of the stomach bug, ear infections, and asthma exacerbations.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice:

“It’s been a very sick week after holiday family gatherings shared germs as well as gifts. There are lots of illnesses going around, and many families have experienced back-to-back illnesses, often without a full recovery in between. It can be hard to know when one illness ends and the next begins. This makes the ears especially prone to ear infections as the fluid in the Eustacean tubes and inner ears doesn’t drain completely between illnesses, allowing the fluid to sit in that area and create a bacterial breeding ground.

“A surprising care fact: Ear infections and fevers often do not need to be treated with antibiotics! In kids older than 18 months, the drainage physics and immune system capabilities clear ear infections effectively without antibiotics. If discomfort can be managed with ibuprofen or Tylenol, it’s preferred to hold off on antibiotic use, as the course of the ear infection would not likely be shortened by much, and antibiotics can have a bad effect on the intestinal bacterial flora. If the pain is persistent, or the child has a history of multiple ear infections, antibiotics may be warranted. This is worth a discussion with the child’s health-care provider.

“Regardless of the illness, a consistent rule is to HYDRATE your sick child. Hydration with water helps with all illnesses. Kids get more easily dehydrated than adults, and significant water vapor is lost due to congestion and mouth breathing, sweating during fevers, and increased breathing rate. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause large fluid deficits in a little body. Lacking appetite or avoidance of food due to painful throat or ears also lead to dehydration pretty quickly.

“Hydrating doesn’t need to be in the form of rapidly downing entire bottles of water. Drinking small amounts of water very regularly is often the best and most comfortable hydration method for sick kids. Babies younger than 6 months should not be given free water, even if they have a fever. Their kidneys are not mature enough to filter it properly, and water can cause a dangerous electrolyte imbalance.”