What’s Going Around: Roseola, swimmer’s ear, fractures, and more

Here’s a look at what’s going around this week in the Midstate:

Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics saw more cases of swimmer’s ear as well as inner ear infections, colds and seasonal allergies. They also have seen more fractures this week. Sore throats are still being diagnosed, though there are fewer strep cases this week than in the prior months.

Here’s additional information on swimmer’s ear from Joan Thode, M.D., FAAP, LG Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics:

· Swimmer’s ear is also known as otitis externa, meaning inflammation and infection of the ear canal. Frequently, this is caused by bacteria that live in water (pseudomonas being a big player) getting into the ear canal and growing rapidly in the warm area.

· Symptoms include pain when pulling or tugging on the earlobe. An inner ear infection will not hurt with a tug on the earlobe.

· There may be some frothy discharge in the ear canal, often foul-smelling.

· You may get a fever with otitis externa, though it’s much rarer than getting a fever with an internal ear infection.

· If the pain for your child doesn’t resolve in a day or gets worse, he or she should be evaluated by their doctor, who may prescribe ear drops or place a wick in the ear canal.

· The eardrum separates the outer ear canal from the inner ear, so infections of the external canal cannot give you an inner ear infection.

· If your child has ear tubes placed, it’s important to wear earplugs in the pool and minimize submersion to prevent water from traveling through the tube into the inner ear.

WellSpan Medical Group Providers are seeing a decrease in grass allergies due to the drier weather. Viral upper respiratory infections are also on the decline across all counties. With the higher temperatures, WellSpan Medical Group providers want to remind viewers to be cautious when out in the sun. Wear sun-protective clothing, including hats, seek shade when possible and apply sunscreen with UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection with at least SPF 15, before going outdoors.

Important Information on School Vaccination Requirements:

WellSpan providers are reminding parents of the recent changes to the Pennsylvania’s state immunization requirements for school-age children, which go into effect this summer. All school-age children must now have all their vaccinations completed within the first five days of school. Parents are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their children’s primary care provider as soon as possible to get them vaccinated before the start of the school year.

Medical experts at Summit Urgent Care centers and walk-in clinics in Franklin and Cumberland counties report an increase in tick bites and cases of ringworm.

After spending time outside, providers recommend thoroughly checking skin and hair for ticks. You should seek medical evaluation if the tick has been attached and if the tick is identified as an adult or deer tick. Also, seek treatment if a rash or flu-like symptoms develop.

Ringworm is a highly contagious, fungal infection of the skin. Providers recommend evaluation and possible treatment for children who have scaly and crusted patches on their skin. Ringworm occurs more frequently in warm and moist climates. Providers advise to take extra care with high-traffic surfaces, such as in locker rooms, at the pool and with clothing.

Pinnacle Health is seeing a stomach bug going around but they’re actually also starting to see roseola; a viral illness that affects younger children, most often babies and young toddlers. It starts with a high fever (>102) for 5-7 days and crankiness but no other obvious symptoms (they can have mild cold symptoms or mild diarrhea). Then the fever stops and a rash breaks out on the body; red, small, mostly flat spots all over from head to toe (mostly trunk and arms, legs). Touching the rash is not contagious, but the virus is contagious through respiratory droplets, so it’s easily picked up at schools or homes.

Avoidance: Stay away from children with a history of fever in past 24 hours.

Treatment: Symptomatic – can use fever reducers to help reduce symptoms but the virus will need to resolve on its own. Once the rash breaks out the fever should not return. The rash will clear on its own in a few days.

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