Monday, January 12, 2015

January 2015 Illnesses in Central Ohio

     We at Hilliard Pediatrics had a historically busy Decembers in 2014. Although Influenza virus gets a lot of press, we are seeing quite a variety of viral illnesses right now.
     Influenza with fever (often 102-106 degrees), cough, cold, sore throat, headache, nausea, and achiness. The illness often lasts 4-6 days. Because of "antigen drift" (the viral strain evolving), even those that got the flu vaccine this season are becoming ill with the "flu". Remember what gets people hospitalized with influenza are dehydration or pneumonia. The pneumonia usually presents just as the initial few days of fever has broken, the cough improves, and then the cough worsens and the fever is elevated again.
     RSV causes cold and cough symptoms in older children and bronchiolitis in infants and toddlers. These young children wheeze with the virus. See the Bronchiolitis handout for more information.
     Rhinovirus is a respiratory virus that causes cough, congestion, runny nose, and sometimes a fever. The illness can cause a lingering upper respiratory illness for 2 weeks. Check our handout about coughs, colds, and other respiratory symptoms for more information about treatment.
     Croup is a viral respiratory illness with a barky cough (like a barking seal), sometimes a fever for a couple days, sometimes nasal congestion, and a hoarse voice. When it becomes more worrisome, there will be noisy, raspy breathing in between the coughs, especially when taking in a deep breath. This is called stridor. Please check our croup handout for more information.
     There seem to be two major "stomach flus" or viral gastro-enteritis illnesses going through town. One causes frequent, intense vomiting for 6-12 hours, less vomiting for another 12 hours or so, then usually loose stools for another couple days. Another virus causes vomiting for 2-3 days then diarrhea for 4-7 days afterwards. Check our website here and here for more information on treatment of vomiting and diarrhea.
     We are also seeing viral sore throats, Strep throat, bacterial pink eye, a lot of viral pink eye, and a number of other illnesses. I hope this is helpful! We hope you and your family stays well!

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