Dehydration: What's Going Around for the Week of May 1
There's an easy way to find out just how much water you should be drinking this time of year. That's just one thing local doctors are talking about when looking at "What's Going Around" the area where you live.
- The winds have kicked up a lot of particulate matter in Palm Springs, and doctors are starting to see the effects on sinuses. Dr. Michael Jardula tells us that secondary infections are this week's "hot ticket." He suggests starting with over-the-counter medication, but if you don't see any response, check in with your doctor.
- The flu season is not over in the east part of our valley. Dr. Randolph Gibbs says we usually see increased activity from January through March, but this year, flu season has extended through April. Symptoms include a cough, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue. "People at high risk include the elderly, pregnant women and infants," says Gibbs. "Remember 'the best defense against the flu is getting vaccinated,'" he adds. An unexplained high fever is also afflicting infants and children younger than 36 months. "These particular cases may be viral or bacterial infections and some do require extensive investigations," says Gibbs. Red flags include changes in crying patterns, drowsiness, rapid breathing, decreased skin elasticity and seizures. "Parents are encouraged to seek medical advice if symptoms are progresssive.
- The recent wind we've seen has kicked up all kinds of sand and dust, and sent people in to see their doctors for treatment of allergic conjunctivitis. Patients come in with red, itchy eyes that have often been matted closed during sleep. Dr. Frank Arian says keep your hands away from your eyes and face, and try to stay indoors when it's windy. This will help you from getting sick. Summertime temperatures also means the threat of dehydration in Palm Springs. The single biggest complaint people have is fatigue and malaise. "You should be drinking, in ounces, one half your weight in pounds, plus ten percent. For example, a 200-pound person should drink 110 ounces of water per day," explains Arian. But drink even more if you're out in the sun or doing strenuous exercise. Even more patients than expected came in to see Dr. Arian for help treating sinusitis. Depending on how long a patient has been having symptoms, antibiotics are being prescribed. "The course of antibiotics tends to be longer, in the 10-14 day range, and full recovery is expected though slower than ordinary upper respiratory infections," Arian adds.
- A stomach flu acting like the norwalk virus is going around Coachella. Dr. Frank Curry reports the vomiting and diarrhea lasts a couple of days. Seasonal allergies are also back, along with the sinus infections that seem to come with them. Curry also reminds us that four different people were rescued because of dehydration on the trails over the last week. One key to avoid getting sick is to monitor your weight before and after any exercise so that you know how much water you're losing and need to consume.
Watch "What's Going Around" Tuesday evenings at 5:30 and Wednesday mornings on CBS Local 2 News.
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