(WHTM) — This week, pediatricians at Penn State Health are seeing a high volume of patients with RSV, including inpatients at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital and outpatient clinics throughout the health system. Pediatricians are also seeing cases of the flu, COVID and other upper respiratory infections, as well as colds and stomach bugs.
This week, the providers of UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics are seeing a lot of RSV as well as strep throat and viral syndrome.
The CVS MinuteClinic in York saw their first confirmed case of influenza A. They’re also seeing COVID and viral upper respiratory infections.
WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across the Midstate are seeing viral respiratory infections, RSV, asthma attacks and wheezing in children who don’t have asthma, often caused by a respiratory virus.
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports a lot of RSV and bronchiolitis. They are seeing scattered cases of the flu and COVID.
Pediatricians have noticed a lot of complaints of coughing, including an increase in croup. They also saw an increase in cases of the stomach bug.
Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about croup:
“Croup is a condition caused by one of several viruses that causes acute inflammation of the vocal cords. This causes the child to breathe through a much smaller hole, which can give the sense of not being able to ‘get the air in.’ This sensation will often cause the child to try to take larger and deeper breaths, thus pulling the air faster through the small space and vibrating the vocal cords, creating a voice-like sound called stridor. The cough of croup is also very voice-like and barky because the fast bursts of air of a cough are being pushed between the closed vocal cords, causing them to vibrate. The classic cough of croup sounds like a seal bark.
“Croup does not always need to be treated. If the child can remain calm and keep their breathing under control, observation and supportive care during the viral symptoms are all that is needed. But if the croup is severe and the breathing space between the vocal cords is very small, steroids are sometimes needed to acutely relieve the inflammation and open the space between the cords.
“Interestingly, warm, moist air and cold, dry air can sometimes also relieve some of the inflammation at the vocal cords. We therefore suggest that a child with stridor and croup be taken into a steamy bathroom or have their face positioned at the door of the freezer, or outside on a cold winter night, to help relieve the symptoms of breathlessness and stridor.
“Croup is most often experienced by kids younger than six. Older kids tend not to get croup because the diameter of their airway increases as they grow and isn’t as affected by the inflammation at the level of the cords. However, rarely older children can get this condition as well, known as ‘spasmodic croup.’ It is treated the same way, with supportive care and sometimes steroids.
“Croup notoriously worsens at night, so if your child is showing some signs of hoarse voice, barky cough or stridor during the day, it’s recommended that you have them evaluated or at least make your pediatrician aware. It’s also important to know what number to call to speak with your child’s doctor after the office closes for the evening.”