What’s Going Around: Pneumonia and swimmer’s ear

PinnacleHealth’s Heritage Pediatrics in Camp Hill is seeing a number of children with pneumonia the past couple of weeks.

The community pneumonias they are treating are affecting more of the younger school and preschool toddler age group. Children with pneumonia usually have a persistent fever and a cough. They also have faster breathing, but this can be harder to see in the older child.

“Look at your child’s breathing when they are still,” Dr. Kathleen Zimmerman said. “If it looks fast (anywhere from 30-60 breaths per minute depending on the age) or if they are using extra muscles (stomach or neck) to breathe, call your doctor.”

Some pneumonia symptoms are caused by viruses and require close monitoring and symptom treatment. Bacterial pneumonias require antibiotics.

Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports a large number of swimmer’s ear cases, as well as some additional inner ear infections, viral illnesses with fevers, plantar warts and mosquito and tick bites.

Dr. Joan Thode offers the following advice when it comes to ticks:

“When removing a tick, take care NOT to squeeze the body. Pinch the tick at the head or the base of the head, and pull straight up to detach from the skin.

Ticks can only transmit Lyme disease if they are attached to the skin for more than 48 hours.

To prevent tick bites, the best defense is a DEET-based bug spray. DEET concentrations at or below 30 percent have been safety-tested for children over the age of 2 months.”

WellSpan Medical Group providers are continuing to report that pollen levels are decreasing across the area, although those with allergies may still be having symptoms.

In addition, providers are seeing cases of swimmer’s ear. WellSpan Medical Group providers want to remind everyone to contact their health care provider if experiencing discomfort, pain or drainage from the ears. Prompt treatment of swimmer’s ear can prevent more serious infections. For prevention, WellSpan Medical Group providers recommend the use of ear plugs and swim caps when swimming, and drying ears thoroughly after swimming or showering.

The pediatricians of Penn State Children’s Hospital are seeing a lot of viruses, especially colds. They are also seeing patients who are seeking treatment for bug bites.

Some clinic locations are also reporting an elevated number of strep throat cases.

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