What’s Going Around: COVID-19, respiratory viruses, walking pneumonia

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WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across Central Pa. are seeing mostly viral upper respiratory bugs and stomach bugs. Overall, there is very little influenza to report, given the time of year.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports COVID-19, a lot of COVID exposure without symptoms, non-COVID colds, asthma exacerbations, headaches, diarrhea, strep throat and walking pneumonia.

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

“Walking pneumonia describes atypical pneumonia, an infectious inflammatory process dispersed throughout the lungs rather than being localized in a small single area of the lungs. The walking pneumonia is so named because the 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 the 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 a cold. The cough with pneumonia will frequently sound “wet” and 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.”

This week, pediatricians at Penn State Children’s Hospital are seeing COVID-19, both in-patient and out-patient, common colds and a few upper respiratory viruses.

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