What’s Going Around: Stomach bug, asthma attacks

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This week Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics continued to see a lot of seasonal allergies, ear infections and sore throats. Of the sore throats, strep made up about 30 percent.

They are still seeing colds, many with fevers. Asthma exacerbations, or attacks, increased. They also saw an increase in bronchiolitis in infants, although this is not the typical time of year for bronchiolitis.
The stomach bug is still going around. Rashes shifted away from hand, foot and mouth disease to impetigo.
 
Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about impetigo:

“Impetigo is an infection of the skin with bacteria in the streptococcal family. It frequently occurs on the face and can look like a red rash, often with a yellowish crust, frequently described as “dried honey.” This rash can technically appear anywhere on the body, though we often see it on the face, frequently at the corners of the nose and mouth. The rash can be painful, though it frequently doesn’t bother the child at all.

Other breaks in the skin, from cuts, scrapes or other rashes, such as eczema, also can become infected with this bacteria, which can complicate healing.

Any rash that is crusting, does not get better after a week or so, or seems to get progressively redder should be evaluated by a doctor. Impetigo is treated with a topical antibiotic cream and sometimes additional oral antibiotics, depending on the severity of the infection.

Since other rashes, such as fungal infections, psoriasis and eczema, also can have various forms of crusting, it’s always a good idea to have any kind of ‘crusting rash’ evaluated.”

The CVS MinuteClinic in Lancaster reported the following this week:
 
“Allergy symptoms are still a primary complaint coming in, and can result in complaints or complications we don’t always expect.
 
Asthma and allergies are often closely linked conditions. During this time of year when allergy symptoms are heightened, it is important for patients with asthma to maintain and monitor their asthma regimen as well. Over the counter antihistamines work well to control symptoms such as runny nose, scratchy throat and eyes, and sneezing. However, if you are experienced wheezing, shortness of breath, an increase in rescue inhaler use, and/or an interference with regular activities due to breathing it is recommended to be evaluated for worsening asthma, or even a first-time diagnosis. If you are having difficulty breathing or severe shortness of breath at any time it is important to go to an Emergency Department immediately.
 
The excess mucus and inflammation experienced in the nose, throat, and sinuses as a result of seasonal allergies can cause fluid to get caught in the middle ear. This will result in symptoms such as decreased hearing, feeling like the ear is “full”, “clogged” or “underwater”, intermittent but generally minor pain, and “popping” sounds in the ears. Although this condition generally resolves on its own, it is always a good idea to have your ears looked at by a healthcare professional to rule out potential alternative causes, such as infection.
 
Although we often associate a sore throat with infectious causes such as strep, mono or other viral causes, sometimes a sore throat is caused by allergies as well. Often this is a result of the post nasal drip that can run down the back of throat due to runny nose and increased mucus. For this type of sore throat, nasal saline spray, warm salt water gargles, and even nasal steroids, such as Flonase, can help relieve the symptoms. If you experience a sore throat it is important to have it evaluated by a medical professional to rule out the above mentioned infectious causes,” Alicia Bonsall, CRNP, FNP-BC said.

The MinuteClinic in York reported viral upper respiratory illnesses, a stomach bug and contact dermatitis due to plant and poison ivy.

WellSpan Pediatric Medicine physicians across the Midstate are reporting allergies and also starting to see some sunburn as kids wrap up school and start spending longer days outdoors. From an infectious standpoint, they are still seeing some gastroenteritis and strep throat.

Geisinger Holy Spirit Primary Care in Cumberland County reports coughs and colds with sore throats, pink eye, rashes and injuries due to outside activities, sports or other recreation.

Geisinger Holy Spirit Pediatrics in Cumberland and Dauphin counties reports allergies, colds, strep throat and croup.

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