What’s Going Around: Respiratory infections, allergies, strep throat, ear infections

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UPMC Express Cares are seeing patients with sore throats, upper respiratory infections that are non-COVID, as well as seasonal allergies.

To treat a sore throat, patients are encouraged to drink warm liquids and gargle with salt water. If your child has a sudden onset of sore throat, pain with swallowing, a fever higher than 101, and swollen lymph nodes, a physician may recommend a strep test.

Treatment for an upper respiratory infection is based on whether a doctor suspects it is caused by a bacteria or virus. If the cause is a bacterial infection, antibiotics are used. If the cause is a viral infection, home treatment is recommended, such as getting extra rest and drinking plenty of liquids.

Frequent hand-washing, especially during cold or flu season, can help prevent illness. Children should also try to avoid using their hands to wipe their eyes, nose, or mouth.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports strep throat, diarrhea, impetigo, ear infections, sinusitis, seasonal allergies and asthma exacerbations.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about impetigo and rashes:

“Impetigo is an infection of the skin with either staph or streptococcal bacteria. 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 be 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.

There’s a form of body-wide impetigo that starts with a more blistered rash, then opens up and scabs over, leaving a target-like pattern with an outer raised ring and inner scab. This pattern of impetigo more frequently needs a course of oral antibiotics.

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. There are other rashes that can also 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.”

The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports upper respiratory infections and pink eye this week.

This week, pediatricians at Penn State Children’s Hospital are seeing a lot of colds and some viral upper respiratory infections.

Pediatricians at Penn State Health Medical Group locations in Cumberland County are seeing patients with rashes, strep throat, ear infections, allergies, common colds, upper respiratory infections and an increase in anxiety.

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