The CVS MinuteClinic in York saw a stomach bug, strep throat, COVID, viral bronchitis and seasonal allergies.

WellSpan Pediatric Medicine Physicians across the Midstate are seeing asthma flares, allergies, eczema and viral upper respiratory issues that are not related to COVID or the flu.

This week, the most prevalent thing the providers of UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics in York and Spring Grove are seeing is strep throat.

Pediatricians at Penn State Health are seeing a lot of colds, strep throat and allergies. They are also seeing some viral respiratory infections.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports a lot of strep throat this week. In fact, they are seeing a lot of reinfection, where a child with a strep infection treated with antibiotics will then have another exposure to strep and get the infection again. This is because our bodies don’t make antibodies to Group A strep, the strep type responsible for strep throat.

They are still seeing the stomach bug, although cases were down slightly this week. Croup cases are increasing.

Pollen is here to stay, and so are allergy symptoms, which they have seen emerging in high numbers.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice about croup:

“Croup is caused by one of several viruses that causes acute inflammation at the vocal cords. The inflammation causes the child to breathe through a much smaller hole, which can give the sense of not being able to get the air in. This will often cause the child to try to take larger and deeper breaths, thus pulling the air faster through the small space and vibrating the vocal cords, creating a voice-like sound called stridor. The cough of croup is also very voice-like and barky, because the fast bursts of air of a cough are being pushed between the closed vocal cords, causing them to vibrate. The classic cough of croup sounds like a short, high-pitched seal bark.

Croup does not always need to be treated. If the child can remain calm and keep their breathing under control, observation and supportive care during the viral symptoms are all that is needed. But if the croup is severe and the breathing space between the vocal cords is very small, steroids are sometimes needed to acutely relieve the inflammation and open the space between the cords.

Interestingly, warm, moist air and cold, dry air can sometimes also relieve some of the inflammation at the vocal cords. We therefore suggest that a child with croup be taken into a steamy bathroom or have their face positioned at the door of the freezer, or outside on a cold winter night, to help relieve the symptoms of breathlessness and stridor.

Croup is most often experienced by kids younger than six. Older kids tend not to get croup because the diameter of their airway increases as they grow and isn’t as affected by the inflammation at the level of the cords. However, rarely older children can get this condition as well, known as spasmodic croup. It is treated the same way, with supportive care and sometimes steroids.

Not all that barks is croup. Since croup is caused by a virus, your child will likely have other symptoms, including runny nose, fatigue, sometimes fevers and lower energy. If your child has a sudden, barky cough or stridor in the absence of these other viral symptoms, especially if it’s a toddler, seek evaluation, as this could be a foreign body in the airway or an allergic reaction.

Croup notoriously worsens at night, so if your child is showing some signs of hoarse voice, barky cough or stridor during the day, it’s recommended that you have them evaluated or at least make your pediatrician aware. It’s also important to know what number to call to speak with your child’s doctor after the office closes for the evening.”