This week, the providers of UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics across the Midstate continue to see strep throat, COVID and viral syndrome.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports viral upper respiratory infections, COVID, strep throat, ear infections and pink eye this week.

WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across the Midstate are seeing strep throat, a stomach bug and asthma exacerbations.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports strep throat and ongoing viral illnesses this week. They’re also seeing a stomach bug, pink eye and the start of spring allergy season.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about pink eye:

“Conjunctivitis is the general term for inflammation of the outer clear layer of the surface of the eye. It typically appears as a “pink eye,” but there are multiple possible causes.

Bacterial conjunctivitis 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.

Viral conjunctivitis is 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 often caused by the child’s rubbing their nose and then rubbing their eye, thus transferring the virus to the surface of the eye. The viral conjunctivitis will be killed off by the immune system at the same time that it 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 also contagious by touch.

Allergic conjunctivitis is a reaction to 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 appropriate eye drops are antihistamine rather than antibiotic, and these can be prescribed by your child’s primary physician.

An important fact to remember is that pink eye shouldn’t hurt. The eyes may be very irritated and described as scratchy, but it shouldn’t be painful. Painful eyes, whether due to movement, light or blinking, should always be evaluated by a physician.

Reasons to see the doctor: thick drainage from the eye; pain with eye movement; significant eyelid swelling; pain with light/light sensitivity; symptoms that worsen over two to three days; eye redness with any recent eye trauma or suspected foreign body in the eye; changes in vision.”