• Warmer weather is considered a risk factor for rhabdomyolysis, Dr. Randolph Gibbs reports this week. He saw a case of this in a young high school athlete at the Mecca Clinic. Other causes include physical overexertion in untrained athletes. Serious muscle injury and acute renal failure can occur if not treated within 12 to 24 hours, so see a doctor immediately if you experience muscle pain, weakness, tea-colored urine, confusion or malaise. "This case represents the importance of conditioning programs and adequate hydration prior to engaging in vigorous activities," says Gibbs.
  • Allergy flareups in Indio this week. Over-the-counter medication usually helps the symptoms of itchy eyes, cough and sneezing. Physician's Assistant Mitch Claire says if you have underlying asthma, or other respiratory diseases, you need to seek medical attention. Urinary tract infections have been prevalent, partly due to higher temperatures, and less water intake. Antibiotics are usually needed to clear these up.
  • In Palm Springs, beware of the cough that lingers. Dr. Michael Jardula reports several cases of bronchitis that turns into pneumonia in otherwise healthy adults.
  • Poor personal hygiene and poor food preparation habits are the most important risk factors for diarrhea. That's one of the things Dr. Frank Arian is seeing in Palm Springs. "Hand washing, washing of vegetables, fruits, chicken, shellfish when able, and avoiding foods that have or might have spoiled," can help prevent diarrhea, Arian offers. "Buffets tend to be quite risky as well. Use designated plates for raw meats awaiting cooking. wash hands and utensils after handling raw meats." Arian also says we're seeing the first real grouping of mosquito bites this season. Screen windows and doors. Wear protective clothing at dawn and dusk,and use citronella candles to repel mosquitos. "Febrile illnesses that follow mosquito bites need to be seen by a physician," he says. Heat exhaustion is also something to watch for this time of year. He says to "watch your dog. They instinctively head for the shade." Wear wide-brimmed hats, travel early, or late if necessary, and drink copious amounts of fluids, he also suggests.
  • Children in Rancho Mirage are coming in to see Dr. Arturo Quintanilla with external ear infections. This is related to swimmer's ear, and usually requires antibiotic drops to prevent more serious ear infections and hearing loss. The scarlet fever outbreak of last week seems to be over, but he did see some patients with strep throat.
  • In Coachella Dr. Frank Curry is still treating colds with a sore throat and runny nose. But gastroenteritis is still the major concern. People complain of a "crampy" stomach with diarrhea. He's also starting to see swimmer's ear from visitors to the valley. You can prevent this by using special drops in your ear after you get out of the pool, or by using ear plugs.

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