What’s Going Around: Sore throats, respiratory infections, seasonal allergies


Geisinger Holy Spirit Primary Care in Cumberland County reports rashes and poison ivy, falls and lacerations, ear pain and seasonal allergies.

The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports swimmer’s ear, sore throats due to viruses and strep, and continued wellness visits for vaccines, physicals and flu shots.

WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians from across Central Pa. are seeing allergic rhinitis, asthma flare ups, and some sports related injuries.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports strep throat, viral illnesses, seasonal allergies, Impetigo and Molluscum.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about strep throat:

“The typical strep syndrome is headache, sore throat, and belly pain or nausea and often vomiting. Having two of the three symptoms raises our concern for possible strep. Sometimes the two symptoms portrayed are headache and belly pain— thus, you can have strep throat without a sore throat! Fever is often a part of the picture, but not always. The diagnosis of strep is only made with a throat culture.

Sore throat is a significant symptom in not only strep but also in mono, influenza and a variety of viral illnesses. Among those possible diagnoses, strep is the only disease that warrants antibiotics. We do not treat for strep without testing with a swab because the antibiotic that would treat strep could cause bad side effects or bacterial resistance in the context of the other diagnoses.

Dangerous symptoms to watch for that warrant an immediate call to the doctor: difficulty swallowing to the point where your child is drooling because he or she cannot swallow their saliva; severe throat pain only on one side of the throat, which causes the voice to become very whispery; sore throat that is accompanied by distressed breathing or the child’s feeling like they can’t inhale enough air.”

UPMC Express Cares are seeing patients with sore throats, upper respiratory infections not related to COVID-19, 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 greater 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 State Children’s Hospital is seeing mostly the same as last week; a bit of an uptick in patients with the common cold and a few patients with upper respiratory viruses.

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