What’s Going Around: Strep throat, stomach bug, pink eye


Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics continued to see a surge in strep and ongoing high numbers of flu.

They saw an increase in croup and hand, foot and mouth disease in toddlers and younger kids. Bacterial pink eye increased in all age groups.

They continued to see viral gastroenteritis, or the stomach bug. Bronchiolitis increased in infants. Impetigo increased in school-aged kids and teens.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following notes on strep throat:

“Strep throat is mainly spread by getting the bacteria-often within drops of saliva from an infected person that land and live on a surface-onto the hands of another person, who then gets the bacteria into their mouth. Strep can live on surfaces for weeks! It’s therefore important that we wash hands or sanitize frequently, especially before eating!

Strep typically causes at least two of the following symptoms: sore throat, headache and belly pain with or without nausea and/or vomiting. It typically does not cause congestion, runny nose, cough or ear pain. Strep throat, if not treated, may become a condition known as scarlet fever, which involves a red, dry, prickly rash of the abdomen and back that can also affect the inner elbows and groin areas.

Sore throat is a significant symptom in not only strep but also mono, influenza and a variety of viral illnesses. Among those possible diagnoses, strep is the only condition 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. It takes an office visit to put your child’s symptoms together with the physical exam to make an accurate diagnosis.

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

The CVS MinuteClinic in York reports viral upper respiratory infections, sinusitis, strep throat, and bacterial conjunctivitis, or pink eye.

There was a slight decline in flu cases, although flu continues. Wellness screening and physicals continue as well.

Geisinger Holy Spirit Pediatrics in Cumberland County reports the flu, upper respiratory infections, strep throat, stomach bug and colds.

Geisinger Holy Spirit Primary Care in Cumberland County reports upper respiratory infections, flu and pink eye.

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