Ear Infections: What's Going Around for the Week of April 2

Water can help keep you healthy in more than one way. That's just one thing local doctors are talking about when looking at "What's Going Around" the area where you live.

  • Rhinosinusitis is back in the east valley.  Dr. Randolph Gibbs tells us this is mainly because of a virus.  But sometimes bacteria and allergies can contribute to the condition.  Symptoms include facial pain, fever, headache, nasal discharge and sneezing, and he sees it a lot in the springtime.  "The allergic type occurs with changes in the climate," Gibbs says.  He is also treating several cases of kidney stones at the Mecca Clinic, which tend to flare up when people forget to drink enough water.  So he says, "hydration, hydration, hydration."   "The peak age for stone formation is 20 to 40 years of age and the male to female ratio is 3 to 2," Gibbs adds.
  • An interesting week in Palm Springs, where doctors saw another spike in upper respiratory tract infections.  "The current pattern is we are seeing a sputtering of infectious disease," explains Dr. Frank Arian.  "This is not unusual when it comes with weather that is struggling to establish its high pressure pattern."  But unlike the winter bugs that some are still struggling to beat, these colds are "in like a lion and out like a lamb" within just two or three days.  Stomach bugs have settled down but Arian says he's treating more patients for seasonal allergies, sinusitis, and asthma.  "If a patient is wheezing they should see a physician," Arian says.  "Inhalers are one of the mainstays of therapy.  And a reminder that all that wheezes is not asthma and all asthma does not wheeze."  A persistent cough should also be evaluated by a physician.  Patients are doing a little bit better staying hydrated, but Arian's encouraging everyone to stay up on their fluids.   "We did see one case of salmonella that came from a person who owned lizards," adds Arian.  "Just a reminder that reptiles can harbor salmonella which can present with severe diarrhea.  All persons who handle turtles, tortoises, snakes and lizards should copiously wash their hands before handling food items."
  • On the other hand, more cases of the stomach flu are coming in to see Dr. Frank Curry in Coachella.  This virus causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Fortunately no one has been hospitalized because of this, and they're able to get treated for the fever, nausea and cramping.
  • Ear infections are going around La Quinta this week, especially affecting kids.  Ear pain and sometimes even fever are symptoms, and most cases require antibiotics.  Dr. Erica Ruiz is also treating several cases of shingles.  This painful rash can last between two and four weeks depending on how soon treatment is started, and usually affects people whose immune system is affected by something else.
  • Dr. Efren Wu has noticed quite a few cases of strep throat in La Quinta.  He tells us symptoms include painful swallowing, fever, and tender lymph nodes, but usually no cough.  He's recommending good hand hygiene and avoiding sharing food and drink.  Antibiotics are needed to treat this one.  Wu has also seen a fair share of allergies.  He's recommending over-the-counter antihistamines or a nasal cortisone spray.

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

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