Wheezing Respiratory Infection: What's Going Around for the Week of Feb. 6

Two different stomach bugs are dueling it out in the Coachella Valley right now.  That's just one thing local doctors are talking about when looking at "What's Going Around" the area where you live.

  • The flu may be rampant around many areas, but in Palm Springs Dr. Michael Jardula says he hasn't seen the true flu.  He's encouraging high-risk individuals to get their flu shots.  Folks in this part of town are coming down with bronchitis and respiratory infections that can last up to 10 days.
  • People are coming in for treatment of the flu in Indio.  Physician Assistant Mitch Claire reports this has been circulating.  Most of the time the flu is treated symptomatically, but if you have asthma or COPD, check in with your doctor.
  • The Mecca Clinic has been overwhelmed with cases of viral bronchitis in all age groups.  The majority of patients are adults who come in with a persistent dry, hacking cough, muscle aches, chills, intermittent wheezing, and fevers as high as 103 degrees.  Unfortunately, Dr. Randolph Gibbs reports you've just got to treat the symptoms.   "We are making a sincere effort to update all childhood immunizations and administer adult flu vaccine and pneumovac when indicated," Gibbs says.
  • It's been an interesting week at Dr. Frank Arian's practice in Palm Springs.  He says they are not seeing the noro virus that's supposedly going to bring stomach grief to our area.  But he is seeing a heavy virus infestation with a very dramatic increase in the amount of wheezing, asthma, and COPD exacerbation.  People tell him this seems to just hang on, and even relapses after a few days of feeling better.  "I have not seen this interesting mix of wheezing and relapsing much in the last five years," Arian says.  "The parties most at risk for a more severe course and relapse are the extremes of age, immune compromising conditions like HIV and diabetes, current and former smokers, and the snowbirds."   Seasonal allergies also seem to be back with a vengeance.  Arian says spring has come early to the desert.
  • It seems like there's a viral outbreak of Fifth disease in Rancho Mirage.  This childhood illness mostly affects five to 15-year-olds and comes with a fever, cough, rash and especially bright cheeks.  This can last about three weeks, and Dr. Arturo Quintanilla says children should be seen by their pediatrician.
  • Not getting the flu shot has caught up with several people who are visiting the Coachella area from out of town.  Dr. Frank Curry says they're coming in with symptoms of influenza-- fever, body ache, upset stomach and respiratory symptoms all at the same time.  Noro virus may have also hit this part of the valley.  Symptoms include muscle aches, pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  "None of these patients had to be hospitalized," Curry reports, "however they were all very uncomfortable."  Neither of these issues can be treated with antibiotics.

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

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