This week, the providers of UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics across the Midstate continue to see strep throat and RSV as well as viral syndrome and occasional cases of COVID-19.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports stomach bugs, viral upper respiratory infections, COVID, strep throat and secondary infections like sinus and ear infections.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports a lot of ongoing viral colds. Strep cases are still being seen in moderate numbers, although they slightly decreased from last week.

They continue to see the stomach bug going around. While they are not testing for specific viral strains, they do know that much of the country is dealing with an upsurge of norovirus as the causal pathogen. This knowledge doesn’t change their approach; the goal is still hydration and electrolyte replenishment, but they know that norovirus is unfortunately an aggressive virus to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and causes two to three days of discomfort.

They have seen a lot more cases of pink eye, especially in the day-care and preschool populations.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice for kids with a stomach bug:

“With few exceptions, kids have young, functional kidneys that can adjust the body’s electrolyte levels to stay within an optimal range. Fluid losses from vomiting and diarrhea need to be replenished, and water is the best option for the job. Water should be taken frequently but in small sips to try to avoid inducing vomiting. If the vomiting doesn’t allow the child to keep anything down, including sips of water, contact your child’s health-care provider, as a prescription anti-emetic medication could potentially help.

If vomiting and diarrhea last past two days, the child may feel better with some electrolyte replacement for energy. Sodium, chloride and potassium are the main electrolytes depleted by an acute GI bug’s vomiting and diarrhea.

Sports electrolyte drinks are not ideal for electrolyte replacement in the context of illness, due to their high sugar content. The excess sugar from these drinks will be absorbed by the gut into the bloodstream, then filtered into the urine by the kidneys. The sugar molecules act like water magnets, binding to multiple water molecules and taking them along to the bladder and out of the body, worsening dehydration.

Non-sugar or minimal-sugar electrolyte replacement options like Pedialyte are much more ideal for liquid electrolyte replacement, though these should be balanced with simultaneous water intake.

If your child is up for eating food, bananas are a great source of potassium, and pretzels are a good source of sodium and chloride.”