What’s Going Around: Stomach bug, strep throat, colds, respiratory viruses

What's Going Around

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports that strep throat is on the rise. There was also an increase in a viral syndrome that is causing a runny nose and affecting the gastrointestinal tract. Stomach bug cases were reported in higher numbers. COVID-19 cases were down again this week, but the number is still not at zero.

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

“The formal name of the GI bug is gastroenteritis, or 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, including pretzels and Saltines. Salty, bland snacks can be very helpful with rehydration efforts following diarrhea with the GI bug.

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

The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports viral upper respiratory infections and seasonal allergies.

Penn State Children’s Hospital reports COVID-19 and seasonal allergies this week. They also report an uptick in colds and respiratory viruses over the past few weeks.

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