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Walking pneumonia: What's Going Around for the Week of May 8

Whats Going Around 5-7-13

There may be an answer to that nagging cough that's been following people in the Coachella Valley around all spring.  That's just one thing local doctors are talking about when looking at "What's Going Around" the area where you live.

  • A nasty viral infection that's going around Palm Springs seems to be sticking around.  Dr. Michael Jardula says it comes with high fevers, vomiting and diarrhea.  It generally lasts about 48 hours, but if it goes on much longer than that, see your doctor.
  • If you're one of the many folks in Palm Springs walking around with an unrelenting cough, but no fever, and the antibiotics you've taken haven't worked-- Dr. David Neumann has a suggestion.  He says ask your doctor about testing for mycoplasma pneumoniae, or walking pneumonia, and testing for whooping cough, or pertussis.  He's treated patients for both of these over the last week, and it's possible they could be the culprit behind the cough.
  • Cases of residual flu-like activity are still going around the East Valley.  Dr. Randolph Gibbs tells us this primarily comes with upper respiratory-type symptoms. This virus usually manifests with nasal congestion, a dry, non-productive cough, sore throat and low-grade fever. Symptoms usually go away within 48 hours with simple therapeutic measures.   Finally, he's treated several cases of allergic conjunctivitis, which can sometimes get complicated with a secondary bacterial infection.  "These conditions usually require topical and oral treatment," says Gibbs.
  • Doctors have seen a large outbreak of seasonal allergies over the last couple of weeks in Palm Springs.  It's a windy and dry time in the desert, which can definitely exacerbate allergies.  Dr. Frank Arian explains the two different types of medications that can help with allergies.  "Medications are broken up into 2 classes, abortive and maintenance. To abort an attack use Chlortrimeton or Sudafed if your medical conditions allow. This should usually be followed by a maintenance drug such as Claritin or Zyrtec, and possibly a nasal steroid inhaler such as Flonase or Nasonex. Sometimes allergy testing is appropriate followed by desensitization shots. Consult your doctor for a regimen that works and is safe."  Sinus congestion is a natural follow-up to allergies.  Diarrhea is also a common complaint right now.  Arian says a "watch and wait strategy" is usually effective.  But eating probiotic foods regularly, and limiting antibiotic use can help prevent this.
  • In Coachella, Dr. Frank Curry reports he hasn't noticed any new spikes in illness.  But he's still treating the springtime respiratory symptoms, colds, and allergies.

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

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