Dehydration: What's Going Around for the Week of August 21

Three words can help you prevent a painful illness. That's just one thing local doctors are talking about when looking at "What's Going Around" the area where you live.

  • Heat related illnesses are the topic de jour at the Mecca Clinic. Dr. Randolph Gibbs stresses these are preventable, and range from mild forms, like heat exhaustion and heat cramps, to potentially deadly, like heat stroke. "Hot and humid conditions are contributing factors and early recognition of symptoms are paramount in treating these conditions," Gibbs says. "Milder forms are manifested by headache, weakness, dizziness and inability to continue activity." Hydration, and moving to a cool place are some ways to manage heat issues, but lowering the core temperature by removing excess clothing and IV hydration are also treatment options. Tree, grass and weed pollens are aggravating cases of allergic rhinitis. Dr. Gibbs is also seeing ringworm on a frequent basis. This must be treated with topical and sometimes oral antifungal medications.
  • In La Quinta swimmer's ear is still going around, along with allergies that cause itchy eyes. Nurse Practitioner Gabrielle Schwilk reports headaches are a problem right now, but often are a side effect of not drinking enough liquids.
  • In Palm Springs Dr. Frank Arian is still seeing a light respiratory illness and mild febrile illness moving though the population. Patients are complaining of fever and chills, a light sore throat with a mild cough. "It seems to be passing in about 3 days," Arian tells us. "Stay out of the sun, go easy on the cocktails, don't smoke especially while sick, hydrate, take daily vitamins, and reduce stress." A viral syndrome with vertigo is also going around. This comes with fever, chills and diarrhea with vomiting. Finally, Arian says he's treating epidemic numbers of kidney stone cases this week. Hydration, hydration, hydration are the three words you need to know for prevention.
  • Allergy-related ear infections are kicking off allergy season in La Quinta. These come with ear pain and pressure and sometimes fever. Dr. Erica Ruiz tells us they do require antibiotics in most cases. Also a 24-hour stomach bug is hitting this part of the valley. Get rest, and plenty of fluids.
  • In Coachella Dr. Frank Curry reports heat-related issues are still a problem. The most common mistake for the seasoned outdoor worker is to start and end too late in the day. The recreational outdoor worker shouldn't be working in the heat for more than an hour at a time. Also, a reminder to be up-to-date on your child's back-to-school vaccinations. Always bring your yellow vaccine card to the doctor, especially if you're seeing him or her for the first time.

Watch "What's Going Around" Tuesday evenings at 5:30 and Wednesday mornings at 6:45 on CBS Local 2 News.

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