What’s Going Around: Oddly enough, winter viruses

What's Going Around

WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across Central Pa. are, interestingly enough, seeing a lot of winter viruses such as RSV and croup. They have also seen quite a few cases of gastroenteritis and non-COVID upper respiratory tract infections.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports a lot of viruses that are not COVID-19, ear infections, swimmer’s ear and croup.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the folowing advice about viruses and post-nasal drainage:

“Once a virus is causing symptoms of runny nose, congestion, fatigue, cough and sore throat, it takes the immune system three to five days to battle and kill off the virus. During that process, not only is the virus creating mucous in the nasal passages, but the immune system’s efforts are also creating a bit of mucous as a defense mechanism. This mucous drains pretty slowly, and the path of least resistance for nasal mucous is into the throat. Post-nasal drainage is what causes babies, toddlers, and kids to cough and cough and cough.

The cough and the wet sound to the cough increase at night, as gravity causes the mucous to pool in the horizontally lying child rather than consistently drain in small amounts. This is why the cough is typically a lot worse at night. The post-nasal drainage and cough can slowly taper over seven to 10 days after the other cold symptoms resolve. This is known as a ‘protracted cough.’

As long as the initial active, heavy nasal drainage improves after four to seven days, and the protracted cough continues to slowly improve without causing fevers or increased work of breathing, it’s ok to watch it for a week or two. Reasons to bring your child to medical evaluation include: five consecutive days of fever, respiratory distress or increased work of breathing, fevers that come back before cold symptoms have fully improved, cough that does not improve after two weeks and nasal drainage that returns after getting almost all better.”

This week, pediatricians at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital are seeing patients with summer colds and upper respiratory viruses, and a few COVID-19 cases.

Pediatricians at Penn State Health Medical Group locations in Cumberland County are seeing summer colds, hand, foot and mouth disease, stomach bugs and allergies.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York County reports skin infections, contact dermatitis and fungal infections.

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