WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across the Midsate are seeing strep throat, seasonal allergies, asthma attacks, viral rashes and stomach bugs.
The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports a lot of strep throat this week, a few cases of COVID and spring allergies.
This week, the providers of UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics in York and Spring Grove are seeing a lot of strep throat, roseola, and hand, foot, and mouth disease. Fortunately, they have seen very few cases of flu and COVID-19.
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics says allergy symptoms are widespread this week, and in many cases, severe in their population. They have seen the gamut from itchy, watery, red eyes to congestion, itchy throat, dry cough, and in some cases, asthma exacerbations.
In general, the best way to treat seasonal allergies is with a daily antihistamine taken by mouth. Additional nasal sprays and eye drops can provide relief directly to the worst affected sites, though these alone are generally not as ideal for consistent symptom mitigation without the oral medication.
They continue to see a lot of strep throat as well as a few viruses, including adenovirus, parainfluenza virus and roseola. They have seen a lot of viral rashes with these viruses.
Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about rashes about pink eye:
“It is common for a viral illness, particularly in younger kids, to involve a rash toward the end of the viral course. These rashes are typically a flat, blanching, spotty rash over the belly, chest and back, and can spread to include the arms, legs and face. It’s not painful or itchy, and tends to fade away in a few days. Once the child has this rash, they are no longer contagious. It is also common for a viral illness to cause hives, just as hives can be a response to a triggering allergen that is ingested or touches the skin of a sensitized person. The hive response is due to a histamine release from the activated immune cells. These hives will be characteristically itchy and patchy, with a raised welt. With any hive response, it’s important to watch for tongue or lip swelling, or involvement of the mouth, nose and eyes, which could signify a worsening reaction. Starting an antihistamine daily medication is important, and the medication should be continued for at least three weeks.
Viral conjunctivitis is caused by a virus infecting the surface of the eye, and it frequently is seen in both eyes symmetrically. The discharge tends to be a bit thinner and waterier, though kids will frequently have crusting on their lashes after a period of sleep. Viral conjunctivitis is often seen in the second half of a virus and is often caused by the child rubbing their nose, then rubbing their eye, thus transferring the virus to the surface of the eye. Viral conjunctivitis will be killed off by the immune system at the same time that the immune system beats the virus elsewhere in the body. Antibiotic eye drops will not do anything to speed that process because they do not affect viruses. Unfortunately, viral conjunctivitis is contagious by touch.
Allergic conjunctivitis is a reaction to the pollen or other allergens in the air. This causes the immune cells to release histamine, which makes the eyes red, itchy and watery. Itchy eyes are most likely allergic conjunctivitis. There is rarely thick eye drainage, though it is common for the eyes to tear a lot. The eyes can sometimes get impressively red. The appropriate eye drops are antihistamine rather than antibiotic drops, and these can be prescribed by your child’s primary physician or purchased over the counter. Thankfully, allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious by touch.
For comparison, bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by a bacteria infecting the surface of the eye. It is frequently in only one eye and typically has thicker eye discharge. It can be painful or have a scratchy sensation when the child blinks. In babies, bacterial pink eye can frequently affect both eyes at the same time and should be evaluated for possible tear duct blockage. Bacterial pink eye is treated with eye drops by your child’s primary physician. Until treated, it is very contagious.”