What’s Going Around: COVID-19, stomach bug, hand, foot and mouth, pneumonia, influenza

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Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports ongoing COVID-19 cases, a large bump in pneumonias, especially walking pneumonia. They also saw strep throat, bronchiolitis, hand, foot and mouth disease and viral colds.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about walking pneumonia:

“Walking pneumonia is the more commonly heard term to describe atypical pneumonia. Walking pneumonia is so named because symptoms tend to be much milder, thus allowing a person to walk around with it and not realize. This type of pneumonia is more common in school-aged and teen pediatric populations than in young children and toddlers.

Walking pneumonia and the common cold can have overlapping symptoms of fever, headache, loss of appetite, and of course, cough. The cough tends to be much worse with pneumonia than with a cold. The cough with pneumonia will frequently sound wet as increased mucous is being coughed up and cleared. The cough can sometimes persist for a week after the acute infection is gone.

For walking pneumonia, antibiotics are typically prescribed. The choice of medication and dose will depend on the individual child’s exam findings and weight.

Pneumonias are contagious, though it is harder to spread a walking pneumonia than a more typical pneumonia.”

WellSpan Health pediatric medicine physicians across the Midstate are seeing a lot of croup, hand foot mouth, a stomach bug, non-COVID upper respiratory infections, a few cases of mono, and continued cases of COVID-19.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports upper respiratory infections and sinus infections this week.

This week UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics in York and Spring Grove continue to see cases of influenza. Patients are also being seen for stomach bugs, RSV and sore throats.

Patients who have the flu often start showing symptoms of high fever, chills, watery eyes, body aches, and fatigue. The fevers may last up to five to seven days. A sore throat, runny nose, and cough also develops in the first 24 hours, and the cough can worsen over a period of a week or longer. Influenza is very contagious and spreads through the air, so if you have flu-like symptoms you should try to avoid being in public and around other people, especially babies and the elderly. Call your doctor or medical provider to determine if your child needs to be seen.

Most cases of gastrointestinal viruses, or stomach bugs, start with loss of appetite then frequent vomiting for the first one to three days. Diarrhea has been associated with stomach bugs as well. The stomach pain and loss of appetite can last on and off for up to a week. It is important to rest the stomach for at least 30 minutes after vomiting and only take small sips of fluid; about one to two tablespoons every five to 10 minutes. Clear fluids like Pedialyte are the best. If the abdominal pain is severe, your child cannot keep sips of fluids down, or your child is urinating less than usual, then they should be evaluated by their doctor or medical provider as soon as possible. Over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medicine is not recommended because this could make the virus stay in the system longer.

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