What’s Going Around: Hand, foot and mouth, stomach bugs, summer colds

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Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports more viruses this week. They saw a lot of swimmer’s ear, some inner ear infections, increased impetigo cases, hand, foot and mouth disease and a stomach bug with vomiting and diarrhea.

There have been very few cases of COVID-19, but the number is not yet at zero.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about impetigo:

“Impetigo is an infection of the skin with bacteria in the streptococcal family. It frequently occurs on the face and can look like a red rash, often with a crust on top. The crust often has a yellow color to it, frequently described as ‘dried honey.’ This rash can technically occur anywhere in the body, though we often see it on the face, frequently at the corners of the nose and mouth. This rash can be painful, though it frequently doesn’t bother the child at all.

Other breaks in the skin from things such as cuts and scrapes, as well as other rashes such as eczema, also can become infected with this bacteria, which complicates healing.

Any crusting rash, a rash that does not get better after a week or so, or a rash that seems to get progressively redder should be evaluated by a doctor. Impetigo is treated with a topical antibiotic cream and sometimes additional oral antibiotics, depending on the severity of the infection.

Other rashes also can have various forms of crusting, such as fungal infections, psoriasis and eczema, so it’s always a good idea to have any kind of ‘crusting rash’ evaluated.”

WellSpan Health Pediatric Medicine Physicians across Central Pa. are seeing acute allergic reactions, poison ivy and other rashes, stomach bugs and colds.

UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics in York and Spring Grove is seeing viruses that cause sore throat and high fevers. Some of these are cases are hand, foot and mouth, also known as the coxsackie virus.

This virus can start with a fever, sometimes a high fever up to 105, for three to five days. Then tiny blisters start to show up, typically around the mouth, on the hands and feet, and often in the diaper area. Blisters also develop on the back of the mouth or throat and sometimes on the tongue. This causes a sore throat. Many children drool and refuse to drink or eat.

Hand foot and mouth virus is very contagious. If you see a rash like this on your child or if they are not drinking well or saying they have a sore throat, call your medical provider. There is no treatment for hand foot and mouth. It will resolve on its own after about seven days. However, your child should not go to school or participate in group activities while they have the fever or rash. It is important to make sure your child is drinking enough fluids to stay hydrated. If you feel they are not, call your pediatrician’s office for guidance on pain control and signs of dehydration.

This week, pediatricians at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital are seeing some cases of COVID-19, summer colds and upper respiratory infections.

Pediatricians at Penn State Health Medical Group locations in Cumberland County are reporting hand, food and mouth disease, bronchiolitis, rashes, poison ivy, bug bites, pink eye and swimmer’s ear.

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