What’s Going Around: Poison ivy, bug bites, fevers

What's Going Around

Geisinger Holy Spirit Pediatrics in Cumberland County saw impetigo, poison ivy and viral illness.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics continued to see fevers, many of which were in toddlers and without any accompanying symptoms.

As kids are getting outside to play, they have been seeing lots and lots of poison ivy rashes. They have also continued to see more bug bites, tick bites and bee stings.

Swimmer’s ear is on the rise now, too.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about poison ivy:

“Poison ivy rashes tend to appear only in the location of exposure to the plant or the plant’s oils, which is often on very specific places on the body. The rash is typically very red and intensely itchy due to the inflammatory reaction of the skin’s immune system to the plant oils. Poison ivy causes bubbles in the skin that are filled with fluid. The fluid in the bubbles does NOT spread the rash. Contact with the rash does not spread the rash, assuming that the oils from the plant are off of the skin. If the oils are still on the skin or clothes, that oil can be transferred to another person, causing the rash on their skin. When the bubbles rupture, they can leave an area of red, raw-appearing skin that will eventually scab over and heal.

It’s imperative to find and wipe off any objects that may have come in contact with the oils on the poison ivy leaves (garden tools, shoes, gloves, dog fur, backpacks, clothing, etc.), as the oil will stay on these objects and can continue to be transferred to skin long after the initial exposure. These oils can stay on surfaces for days to weeks. For this reason, it’s also important to thoroughly wash hands, arms and other exposed skin immediately after hikes to rinse away any potential oils from unseen poison ivy.

Treatment is typically just comfort measures, but if the rash is widespread or on the face, oral steroids may be indicated. For the raw skin that can occur, your child’s doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic cream or oral medication, as these areas of broken skin can be a high risk for bacterial infection. Cool baths and drying agents such as calamine lotion can help provide relief.

Any involvement of the eyes, nose, mouth or genitals needs to have a medical evaluation.”

The CVS MinuteClinic in York also saw an increase in poison ivy cases this week.

The CVS MinuteClinic in Lancaster saw an increase in skin complaints, including poison ivy rashes, sun rashes, fungal infections and simple skin infections from wounds.

They also saw an increase in camp physicals and anticipate a surge in PIAA sports physicals with the news that these activities can resume.

This week, pediatricians at Penn State Children’s Hospital are seeing bug bites, allergies, and asthma.

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