What’s Going Around: Pink eye, strep throat, lice

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Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports strep throat, viral colds, ear infections and impetigo.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about impetigo:

“Impetigo is an infection of the skin with bacteria in the streptococcal family. It can look like a red rash, often with a crust on top that has a yellow color, frequently described as “dried honey.” The rash technically can occur anywhere on 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 rash that is crusting, does not get better after a week or so, or 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.”

She also reminds parents that with the newer colder air, we are bundling up our kids when we go outside.

“Coats are not safe in any car seat. Coats are too puffy to allow the car-seat straps to snugly fit around the child’s body,” Thode said. “The air and fabric of the coat can completely condense in a car accident, and the child would be at high risk for being thrown from the car seat.”

UPMC Express Cares are seeing cases of bacterial conjunctivitis, or pink eye.

Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the lining of the eye that causes redness of the inside lining of the eyelids and/or the white part of the eye, giving the appearance of a pink eye. Bacterial conjunctivitis also causes a thick discharge that often leads to pasting or crusting of the eyelashes. This is very contagious and is spread through direct contact. It is easily passed by younger children playing together and through sharing of toys.

The best prevention is hand washing and avoiding rubbing of the eyes. Treatment is with antibiotic eye drops that need to be prescribed. A red eye or eye with discharge should always be examined by a provider because there are other causes of red eyes, and also they need to make sure there is not an associated infection, such as an ear infection. Certain allergies can also cause red eyes, but allergic conjunctivitis is itchy and associated with no discharge or watery eyes.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York also saw pink eye this week.

Colds and a small number of upper respiratory viruses are still going around at Penn State Children’s Hospital this week. They also remind parents not to forget to vaccinate their child against the flu this year.

Geisinger Holy Spirit Pediatrics reports upper respiratory infections, rhinovirus and a few fevers.

Geisinger Holy Spirit Primary Care reports lice, strep throat, upper respiratory viral syndromes and sports related injuries.

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