What’s Going Around: COVID-19, ear infections, tick bites

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WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across the Midstate are seeing a lot of viral infections, asthma and allergy flare ups, hand foot mouth, croup and RSV.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports continued cases of bronchiolitis and other viral illnesses.

They saw a slow rise in COVID-19 cases, but noted their testing doesn’t differentiate the Delta variant from non-Delta variants.

They have seen more tick bites with several confirmed cases of Lyme disease.

They are also noticing an increase in the number of kids with poison ivy and continue to treat patients with swimmer’s ear.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about ticks:

“As kids head outside this summer, tick checks are very important. A tick must be attached to a human host for 36 to 48 hours in order to transmit Lyme disease. If it gets found and removed prior to this time, it will not have transmitted Lyme. That is why it is so important to do tick checks and remove ticks quickly.

The best way to remove a tick is to use sharp tweezers and grip the tick at the base of the head. Lift straight up with a decent amount of force to remove it from the skin. This can be done at home, though if you are unable to remove the tick or are concerned, you can have the tick removed at your child’s health provider.

Another aspect of prevention is bug spray with DEET. There has been a lot of concern circulated that DEET, which stands for the chemical name of diethyltoluamide, within bug sprays could have a negative effect on the nerve cells of kids. There has been no scientific evidence in studies that DEET affects nerve cells of humans when applied to uncovered skin. Where it can become harmful is if a child drinks it, so it’s important to keep these products away from their reach.

Babies younger than two months should not be sprayed with DEET-containing products, as their skin is very absorbent. However, beyond two months, these products have been deemed safe. For the youngest babies, bug nets and avoidance are the prevention techniques of choice.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York treated inner ear infections and rashes this week.

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