What’s Going Around: Seasonal allergies begin, flu persists

UPMC Pinnacle’s Heritage Pediatrics in Camp Hill is seeing more influenza cases this week.  Patients are starting with high fever, chills, watery eyes, body aches and fatigue.  The fevers are lasting five to seven days.  A sore throat, runny nose and cough also develops in the first 24 hours and the cough can worsen over a period of a week or longer. 

There is a nasal test for influenza, but during influenza season, you may not be tested for it because the test is not always accurate. So if you appear to have influenza, your doctor may decide to treat you with anti-flu medication, such as Tamiflu, if it is appropriate.  Tamiflu only works if given in the first 48 hours of symptoms and even then it only reduces symptoms for one to two days.  Tamiflu has side effects, so it may only be recommended if you are considered high risk based on age and chronic ailments.  

The best way to prevent influenza is the flu vaccine.  Although it may not work 100 percent of the time, it does reduce the chances of getting the flu and of having dangerous flu complications.  Influenza is very contagious and spreads through the air, so if you have flu-like symptoms you should try to avoid being in public and around other people, especially babies and the elderly.   Call your doctor to see if you qualify for treatment or if you need to be seen. 

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics continued to see Influenza A strain with a persistence of strep throat.

They also continued to see a lot of viral colds and ear infections that stem from them.

The stomach bug has increased slightly.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about the stomach bug:

“The formal name of the GI bug is gastroenteritis-“itis” (inflammation) of the gastrointestinal tract. This inflammation is caused by any one of a large number of viruses. It often starts with vomiting and ends with diarrhea, though the opposite could be the case.

Vomiting often resolves pretty quickly. Diarrhea, however, often lasts longer because the cells of the intestines are damaged by the virus and need to be replaced. This replacement process can take up to a week, especially in younger kids.

Because the main thing lost with diarrhea is water, hydration is the primary goal for a child with acute gastroenteritis. Electrolyte solutions like Pedialyte can be used for vomiting or diarrhea, keeping in mind that water should be the primary form of rehydration for children over 12 months. Babies younger than 12 months still have immature kidneys, so hydration efforts should be coordinated with your child’s doctor.

Children of any age who cannot keep down any fluids due to vomiting and/or are showing signs of dehydration (less urine output, fewer tears, dry mouth, cracked lips) should be evaluated by their doctor.”

WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians are seeing lingering cases of the flu, a stomach bug and upper respiratory infections. Seasonal allergies are also starting to kick in as they are starting to see the cedar and maple pollen start to come out.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports upper respiratory infections, ear and sinus infections and several cases of community-acquired pneumonia this week.

At their Lancaster location, they reported the following:

“Viral upper respiratory infection: Patients continue to seek care for flu like illness. Symptoms include body aches, fatigue, fever and cough. Treatment includes OTC pain/fever reducers, rest, fluids and supportive care. Symptoms typically last a week. If fevers persist or symptoms improve and then worsen follow up at your health care provider.

Physicals- We are seeing increase visits for sports physicals and summer camp physicals. These physicals help us determine if you or your child can safely participate in sports/camp and we provided appropriate teaching. Some teaching includes sun care, hydration, insect protection, and first aid recommendations.”

Pediatricians at Penn State Children’s Hospital and Penn State Health Medical Group are still seeing some cases of the flu, and a lot of cases of upper respiratory viruses. They are also seeing some common colds.

Allergy season is starting up, so be sure to take all the precautions with young children, particularly children with asthma. Make sure to use any prescribed medications.

Geisinger Holy Spirit Primary Care in Cumberland County reports a stomach bug, strep throat, upper respiratory virus and the flu.

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