Pharyngo-conjunctivitis: What's Going Around for the Week of April 23

Children are getting the brunt of a bad stomach bug that's going around.  That's just one thing local doctors are talking about when looking at "What's Going Around" the area where you live.

  • "Last week was a carbon copy of the week before in Palm Springs," reports Dr. Frank Arian.  A bad stomach bug is still roaring through the population.  It lasts about 24 to 72 hours and comes with lots of diarrhea and vomiting.  Sometimes this gets so bad people can't keep down fluids without anti-nausea pills.  People are coming in for treatment of sinusitis at epidemic numbers.  Arian suspects this is because of the springtime weather.  "Sinusitis requires special antibiotics to eradicate and presents with pain in the cheeks or forehead, and copious yellow or green discharge from sinuses, along with fever," says Arian.   "Neti pots can also be used to lavage out the sinuses but should be discussed with a physician," he adds.  Finally, seasonal allergies are severe right now.  
  • Little ones are coming in to see Dr. Arturo Quintanilla in Rancho Mirage for help with a viral condition called pharyngo-conjunctivitis.  This is a throat and eye infection.  Antibiotics aren't needed for the sore throat, but they are for the eye infection.  "This is not your typical habitual endemic virus," Quintanilla says.  "It appears in any area more sporadically every four to five years."  But your child should be evaluated by a pediatrician.
  • Children are also coming down with a bad stomach bug, known as gastroenteritis, in the east valley.  This comes on with diarrhea, and sometimes fever, nausea and vomiting.  Most of the time it's caused by the rotavirus.  Dr. Randolph Gibbs tells a fever higher than 100.4 degrees in infants younger than three months, or a fever higher than 102 degrees in children between three and 36 months old are red flags that your child should be seen by a doctor.  Constant vomiting is another sign.  Usually oral rehydration therapy can help within two to three days.  "Again this week seeing several cases of conjunctivitis and sinusitis due the persistence of heavy winds in the eastern valley," adds Gibbs.
  • Children younger than six are coming down with a viral illness in Coachella that's causing about three days of fever followed by a rash on the arms, chest and sometimes the legs.  There's no specific treatment but children don't seem to be having any problems other than the fever and the rash.  But Dr. Frank Curry says you should get your child checked out by the doctor.   "This is a viral illness.  It is not chicken pox or measles," says Curry.
  • In Rancho Mirage Dr. Tate de Leon wants to remind everyone that West Nile Prevention week is coming up.  He offers these bits of advice to keep your family healthy this summer:
  •     "Apply insect repellent to exposed skin. Generally, the the more active ingredient a repellent contains, the longer it can protect you from mosquito bites. A higher percentage of active ingredient in a repellent does not mean that your protection is better-- just that it will last longer. Spray clothing with repellents containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to exposed skin. Do not apply repellent to skin under your clothing.
  •     When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors.
  •     Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors with infants.
  •     Consider staying indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening, which are peak mosquito biting times.
  •     Install or repair window and door screens so that mosquitoes cannot get indoors."

Watch "What's Going Around" Tuesday evenings at 5:30 and Wednesday mornings on CBS Local 2 News.

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