Upper Respiratory Infection: What's Going Around for the Week of Feb. 21

If it's not a cold, it's the flu.  That's just one thing local doctors are talking about when looking at "What's Going Around" the area where you live.

  • Much of the same is making things tough for people who are sick in Palm Springs.  The respiratory bug that's been going around seems to be tapering down in numbers, but even Dr. Michael Jardula can attest that it does linger.  The coughing lasts for weeks, and energy levels are down.
  • Dr. Erica Ruiz is seeing an increase in viral sinusitis in La Quinta.  This virus brings on the mucus production, along with a sinus headache and fatigue.  She tells us it generally starts with a slight sore throat, and lasts between seven to 10 days.  Over-the-counter treatments including sinus rinse aids seem to help the most.  The flu is also going around.  Tamiflu works, but the sooner it's started, the better.  But if it's not treated, it does last a full two weeks.  "The immunization is effective so far in our population," Ruiz adds.
  • In the East Valley acute bronchitis is going around.  This is mostly viral, but sometimes complicated with secondary bacterial infections.  Dr. Randolph Gibbs is seeing this in all groups at the clinics in Coachella and Mecca, and usually is associated with a productive cough and fever.  The most complicated cases may need antiviral or antibiotic therapy.  Prevention is the key with this one, so cover your mouth and avoid direct contact with those who are sick.  
  • "This week was very similar to last," Dr. Frank Arian reports from Palm Springs.  Seasonal allergies are on the upswing.  Arian says people are coming in with congestion and upper respiratory symptoms making it very hard to diagnose.  A flare-up of the flu kept him busy last week, with people suffering from all the classic symptoms-- body aches, joint pain, malaise, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, cold and congestion.  "We are also seeing a continued increase in people who have progressed from a simple upper respiratory infection to reactive airway disease manifested by wheezing," says Arian.  "This is requiring I prescribe a puffer and a steroid course to eradicate as well as additional antibiotics as indicated."  People might be falling off their New Year's diets, because Arian continues to see people gaining weight.   "Good food from local events, increased stress from social and economic milieu, or just plain naughtiness?" he guesses.
  • Respiratory and influenza-like illness continue to dominate walk-in office visits in Coachella.  Dr. Frank Curry reports the flu is tapering off, but turning into pneumonia among the elderly.  Children are coming in for treatment of fever blisters in their throats that come from person-to-person contact.  Because it's a virus there's no good treatment, but keep your kids' hands washed, and steer them toward Jell-O and soup so it's not so painful to eat.

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

comments powered by Disqus

Photo Galleries