What’s Going Around: College students seeking vaccine boosters

This week in York, the CVS MinuteClinic has seen an increase in college-age kids requesting vaccine boosters due to recent outbreaks in Pa. At Temple University alone, there are 116 reported cases of mumps on campus.

The young adults are requesting the boosters for MMR, or mumps, measles, rubella, and Tdap, tetanus, diphtheria & pertussis.

They have also seen several patients with viral gastroenteritis, or a stomach bug.  Treatment is supportive with fluids, rest, electrolyte replacements and nausea/diarrhea medications when necessary, as well as an adjustment of diet.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports this week they saw a very slight decrease in the flu, from 40 cases last week to 36 cases this week, although Influenza A is still considered prevalent.

Most of the congestion and runny noses they saw were viral colds, though they have started to see seasonal allergy symptoms, particularly after a couple of recent warm days.
Strep throat continues to be prevalent, at slightly over 50 percent of the sore throats evaluated in the office. Pneumonia increased, mostly in the teen population. The “stomach bug” also increased slightly, with symptoms of vomiting and/or diarrhea.

With all of these things going on, physicians at Roseville saw a lot of fevers.

On a different note, as the weather has gotten a bit warmer and spring sports are in full swing, they have seen an increase in concussion and bone/ligament injuries.
Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about concussions:

“A concussion is a state of stress for the neurons, or the “nerve cells,” in the brain after an impact to the head causes a sudden acceleration and then deceleration inside the skull. Neurons are very complex cells that are quite sensitive following an injury and will have affected function until they fully recover.
Impacted neuron function can take various forms, including: headache, dizziness, light sensitivity, slower cognition, impaired memory, nausea/vomiting, visual changes, including blurry, double vision, difficulty tracking moving objects, and increased emotional changes or anxiety. These symptoms often present within the first 24 to 48 hours, though they can evolve over the first week following impact to the head. For that reason, returning to play or activity is not suggested prior to one week following the injury.

Treatment of concussions involves reducing brain stimulation, as well as preventing another concussion. Treatment is tailored to the individual patient, based on symptoms and specific daily routines. For the first few days following a concussion, relative ‘brain rest’ is suggested. Brain rest typically includes increased sleeping as needed, decreased stimulation, meaning no screens, no loud music, no vigorous academic demands, no intense emotional stimuli, low lights if possible, and avoidance of activities that cause rapid changes in head position or risk of another head impact.
Injuries at risk for causing a concussion should be evaluated by your child’s physician, as multiple areas of cognitive function are tested. A physical evaluation in an office setting is very important, rather than over the phone. Based on the evaluation, your child’s doctor can set up a specific home care plan, school accommodations as needed, and a specific follow-up plan to track symptom improvement. The average length of time that a concussion affects a child’s function is two to three weeks, though multiple factors may affect recovery time.

The goal is to return to school, play and life as quickly as possible, while protecting the neurons from damage that would decrease function. While a child may start to feel better from a headache standpoint, if he or she continues to have cognitive limitations, return to full play must be postponed until all concussion symptoms have fully resolved.”
UPMC Pinnacle’s Heritage Pediatrics in Camp Hill is still seeing many cases of influenza and strep throat, but spring allergies are also starting up.

Allergic rhinitis causes runny nose, itchy nose and eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, and sometimes an itchy or scratchy throat from the post nasal drainage.  Allergies should never cause a fever.  And although some people feel a bit tired from their allergy symptoms, they should still be able to go to school and be active through the day.  If your child appears ill, feverish and complaining of a sore throat, decreased eating or wet cough, this is not likely allergies and you should take them to their medical provider to see if it could be the flu or strep throat or some other infection.

Most allergic rhinitis responds well to over the counter antihistamines.  Ask your doctor or medical provider which antihistamine would be best for your child. 

Pediatricians at Penn State Children’s Hospital are still seeing some cases of the flu, as well as upper respiratory viruses. They are also starting to see some allergy symptoms.

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