What’s Going Around: Stomach bug, COVID-19, strep throat

What's Going Around

UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics is seeing patients with sore throats and upper respiratory infections that are not COVID-19. To treat a sore throat, patients are encouraged to drink warm liquids and gargle with salt water. If your child has a sudden onset of sore throat, pain with swallowing, a fever greater than 101, and swollen lymph nodes, a physician may recommend a strep test. Treatment for an upper respiratory infection is based on whether a doctor suspects it is caused by a bacteria or virus. If the cause is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are used. If the cause is a viral infection, home treatment is recommended, such as getting extra rest and drinking plenty of liquids.

Frequent hand-washing, especially during cold or flu season, can help prevent illness. Children should also try to avoid using their hands to wipe their eyes, nose, or mouth.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York is still seeing viral upper respiratory infections in patients who are testing negative for COVID-19. They’re also seeing strep throat.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports increased nausea and vomiting with diarrhea. Of these cases, a few were COVID, though most tested negative and were presumed viral.

Ongoing COVID cases, though the number slightly decreased from prior weeks. Of these, fever, congestion, nausea, belly pain and headaches were among the main symptoms reported.

They did see a few strep cases, though the numbers were low.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about vomiting and diarrhea:

“The formal name of the GI bug is gastroenterits; inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. This inflammation is caused by any one of a large number of viruses, and it often starts with vomiting and ends with diarrhea, though the opposite could be the case. This diarrhea will resolve once the virus is gone and the cells lining the intestines have a chance to be replaced. This replacement process can take up to a week, especially in younger kids, so the diarrhea often will last longer than the initial vomiting.

The GI bug can cause a pretty rapid loss of some key electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium and chloride. While drinks like Gatorade boast lots of electrolytes, the electrolytes in those sports drinks are not balanced to be equivalent to concentrations the body actually needs in this sick context. The best rehydration options are Pedialyte and/or water with a few salty, bland snack items in conjunction, such as pretzels or Saltines. Salty, bland snacks can be very helpful with rehydration efforts following diarrhea with the GI bug.

Any signs of dehydration; decreased urine output or decreased wet diapers, dry lips, tacky mouth rather than moist mouth, or crying without tears should be evaluated by a physician, especially in babies and toddlers.”

This week, pediatricians at Penn State Children’s Hospital are seeing cases of COVID-19, allergies and a few cases of viral respiratory infections. They are also seeing patients with anxiety and depression.

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