WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across the Midstate are seeing respiratory illnesses, asthma exacerbations and seasonal allergies this week.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports increasing cases of COVID and viral upper respiratory infections.

This week, the providers of UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics in York and Spring Grove are still seeing strep throat. They are also seeing cases of croup and viral syndrome.

This week, pediatricians at Penn State Health are again seeing an uptick in COVID cases. They are also seeing summer colds, stomach bugs, and starting to see some RSV.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports environmental allergies this week. They’re also seeing a stomach bug with diarrhea, mono and pneumonia.

They saw sporadic COVID cases, but most fevers are related to non-COVID viral illnesses.

They also saw a few cases of strep, but most sore throats this week were viral.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about diarrhea:

“Diarrhea can be caused by various issues, some of which are infectious. Diarrhea can be from a virus affecting the GI tract, often also involving vomiting and nausea. This diarrhea will resolve once the immune system has killed off the virus and the cells lining the intestine have had the chance to grow back and resume appropriate absorption of nutrients.

Sometimes, if the immune system is active elsewhere fighting another virus (a cold, for example), the activation of the gut immune system can cause looser stools, as can the swallowed mucous from post-nasal drainage. This is frequently the case with toddlers and infants with cold symptoms.

More rarely, diarrhea can be a result of food poisoning or bacteria introduced by undercooked eggs or meat. These causes are more likely to cause bloody diarrhea than viral gastroenteritis. Any bloody stool, whether diarrhea or not, needs to be evaluated by a physician right away.

Drinking water while traveling out of the country or drinking from fresh water streams can introduce parasites into the gut that can also cause diarrhea. Diarrhea following travel or exposure to water from a natural source should be evaluated by a doctor for appropriate testing.

Stool color varies greatly based on the color of foods, especially dyes in foods or sweetened beverages. As long as a stool is not black and sticky like tar, or showing bright red blood, a wide range of browns, greens and yellows is within the realm of normal stools.

There are lots of additional reasons for diarrhea that are not infectious (i.e. inflammatory bowel disease, anxiety, disrupted absorption of nutrients and medications).

Most infectious diarrheal causes are spread by contaminated hands introducing the virus or bacteria to the mouth. If a household member has diarrhea, all members of the household must focus on frequent, consistent hand-washing with soap (Hand sanitizer is not as ideal in this case!). Disinfecting toilet seats, flusher handles, door knobs and faucet knobs can help limit household spread.”