What’s Going Around: Poison ivy, tick bites, strep throat, seasonal allergies

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The CVS MinuteClinic in York saw an increase in seasonal allergies and patients with a rash due to poison ivy. They also continued to see patients who were negative for COVID-19.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports ongoing strep throat, an increase in croup, viral colds, seasonal allergies, and tick bites. They saw a decrease in COVID-19 cases this week, although the number of still “far from zero.”

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following additional notes about ticks and Lyme disease:

“As kids head outside in warm weather, tick checks will become important. A tick must be attached to a human host for 36 to 48 hours in order to transmit Lyme disease. If it gets found and removed prior to this time, it will not have transmitted Lyme. That is why it is so important to do tick checks and remove ticks quickly.

The best way to remove a tick is to use sharp tweezers and grip the tick at the base of the head. Lift straight up with a decent amount of force to remove it from the skin. This can be done at home, though if unable to remove the tick or concerned, you can have the tick removed at your child’s health provider.

If a tick was removed after 36 hours of attachment, was engorged and was probable to be a deer tick, your child may qualify for a dose of antibiotics to serve as prophylaxis. This must be started within 72 hours of the tick’s removal to be effective.

If a tick wasn’t noticed, it eventually will fall off on its own. In many cases, in the one to two months following, the child may have a red, spreading rash at the site of the bite. This rash will sometimes have some central clearing, making it the classic bullseye rash, but can also be an expanding circular red rash without the central clearing. The rash will not be raised and will not have any scaling skin associated with it. It typically does not hurt. Any expanding painful rash needs to be evaluated by a doctor to ensure that it isn’t an infection called cellulitis.

Any bullseye rash or painless, expanding rash should be evaluated by a doctor. There are treatments that will completely kill the Lyme organisms. Treatment will be started for the rash, but if your child has joint pain or swelling, or non-specific flu-like symptoms without a history of a rash or known tick bite, there is a blood test to evaluate if your child has Lyme disease.”

WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across the Midstate are seeing more and more orthopedic and sports related injuries as people are out and about and enjoying the great outdoors with schools allowing sports and gatherings. Also, poison ivy has returned. Some strep throat infections are showing back up as well. Unfortunately we’ve found patients are much sicker as they come to see us than pre-COVID as they likely have allowed health problems go without adequate management.

Pediatricians at Penn State Children’s Hospital have been seeing COVID-19, upper respiratory viruses, colds, allergies and stomach flu.

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