What’s Going Around: Allergies and tick bites

Spring allergy season is in full bloom.

Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics has seen a sharp increase in seasonal allergy symptoms, which can also trigger asthma symptoms in children who suffer from asthma.

Doctors at Roseville also continue to see strep throat, pink eye, sinusitis and ear infections. They noted flu cases are finally on the decline.

Dr. Joan Thode offered the following advice for parents whose children suffer from allergies:

“For allergy sufferers, it’s important to know that oral medications work best when taken daily rather than on an as-needed basis. The level of antihistamine stays more consistently in a therapeutic range in the bloodstream when taken daily. Nasal sprays and allergy eye drops, however, can be used on an as-needed basis for current symptoms or predicted exposure. For kids, always discuss weight-based dosing with a doctor, and use a syringe rather than a cup to dose oral medications accurately.

The immune system’s reaction to allergens creates an increase in nasal mucus, which drains down the back of the throat, causing a cough that can be wet or dry in nature. This post-nasal drip also can cause a sore or scratchy throat. Allergies do not cause fever, which can help differentiate allergy symptoms from viral symptoms.

In the case of a cough due to post-nasal drip, honey is the best cough treatment, as long as the child is older than 12 months. It’s dangerous for young kids to take cough syrup for their cough, and it also wouldn’t work well for post-nasal drip.

As always, any cough that causes vomiting or chest tightness should be evaluated by your child’s doctor.”

Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey is seeing a definite increase in patients with seasonal allergies, complaining of cough, congestion and sneezing.

The providers there are also still seeing some viral upper respiratory infections, strep throat, and a slight uptick in intestinal viruses.

WellSpan Medical Group providers said with pollen levels near their seasonal peak throughout Adams, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties, seasonal allergies are picking up there as well.

Summit Urgent Care, Walk-Ins, and FastCare locations in Cumberland and Franklin counties said patients continue to come in with flu symptoms.  They said the flu likely lasts seven to 10 days.  They suggest rest, fluids and Tylenol or ibuprofen as the best course of treatment.

Providers there also said there’s been an increase in the number of patients who experienced a tick bite after being outside and enjoying the recent warm weather.

People are advised to always thoroughly check skin and hair for ticks and even ask someone else comb through your hair to search for anything abnormal.

Patients should seek medical attention if the tick has been attached for 36 hours and if the tick is identified as an adult or deer tick, Summit Health providers said.

Patients are often concerned after being bitten by a tick that they will develop Lyme Disease.  Summit Health officials said the risk of acquiring a tick-borne infection is quite low even if the tick has been attached, fed, and is actually carrying an infectious agent. A tick that has not attached, and therefore has not yet become engorged, has not passed any infection, they said.

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