WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across the Midstate are seeing an increase in COVID-19 positive cases, as well as lots of other viral upper respiratory infections like RSV, enterovirus and parainfluenza.
Allergy and asthma flares have also started with the start of the change of seasons.
Over the last few weeks, Penn State Health Children’s Hospital has seen a big uptick in pediatric patients testing positive for COVID-19, and an increase in pediatric patients with upper respiratory viruses. Pediatricians have also been seeing some colds and seasonal allergies.
Pediatricians at Penn State Health Medical Group locations in Cumberland County are seeing COVID-19, RSV, colds and strep throat.
This week UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics in York and Spring Grove are seeing RSV and other coughs and congestion caused by viruses. Providers have seen a few COVID-19 positive pediatric patients, though patients’ symptoms have been mild.
If your child has a cough that lasts longer than two weeks, or if is associated with wheezing or trouble breathing, you should have them seen by their provider. Cough medicines are not recommended for young children, but your provider may have some safe alternatives to offer such as a cool mist humidifier, honey for children over a year old, clearing nasal mucous, and sleeping on an extra pillow for children over two-years-old. Contact your child’s provider before trying any treatments.
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics is seeing a lot of COVID-19 cases.
They are also seeing hand, foot and mouth disease, a lot of fevers for varying reasons, ear infections and croup.
Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about fevers:
“When concerned about a fever, remember to LOOK, LISTEN, ASK and HYDRATE.
LOOK: See if your child is having trouble breathing. All kids will breathe a little bit faster than their typical baseline when they have a high fever, but you want to see how much effort they are putting into breathing. Comfortable, slightly faster breathing is OK to observe at home, though very rapid, over 50 breaths per minute that persists, breathing or persistent expanding of their chest or belly in an exaggerated way for more than a minute or two is concerning. It’s about how stressed your child looks while breathing.
LISTEN: Is your child making any consistent noises or gasping sounds when they inhale or exhale? Is their cry nice and strong, or more weak and hoarse? Noisy breathing or change in their cry is concerning in the context of increased breathing effort. Persisting respiratory distress is a reason to call your physician.
ASK: In older kids, ask them a question. If they can answer it appropriately, they are alert. In younger, pre-verbal kids, try to have them engage in a toy or book that they like. If they respond appropriately, they are alert. They may appear fatigued and have low energy, but they are not at a concerning level of true lethargy until they struggle to wake up and cannot maintain any coherent conversation or response due to immediately falling back asleep. True lethargy is a reason to call your physician right away.
HYDRATE: The most important way to help your child through an illness with a fever is to give them water. Babies younger than six months should be hydrated only with formula or breastmilk, never with pure water. The higher temperature causes evaporation of water from the skin surface, and with the typically low appetite and faster breathing can cause some dehydration. Your child will feel better overall if they are well-hydrated. Inability to maintain hydration and a decrease in urine output is a reason to contact your doctor for evaluation.
You’ll notice that medicating a fever is not on the list. A fever does not need to be treated. We often treat them not to protect the body from the heat but rather to make the child feel a bit better and therefore more willing to drink water and stay hydrated. The aim during a fever is hydration and comfort for your child. All fevers lasting five consecutive days should be evaluated by a physician in the office and likely additional testing.”
And finally, the CVS MinuteClinic in York reports ear infections, rashes and patients getting their flu shots this week.