Now that we are solidly into spring and the summer heat is right around the corner, I’m seeing a shift of some of the illnesses and conditions walking through my office doors these days. And following my goal of keeping my patients and parents informed, here is a list of some of the things I’m seeing right now:
1. Fifth Disease (AKA parvovirus B19):
This typically begins with a “slapped cheeks” rash on the face and may extend to a lacy-reticular rash on the rest of the body, including the arms and upper legs. Other symptoms (e.g. fever, sore throat, runny nose) are typically mild but every so often, a child may develop some joint pain or intense itching from the virus. Those with sickle-cell anemia or a compromised immune system may also develop greater anemia issues; and there is also a concern of exposure of the virus in the fetus of a pregnant mother so if you are pregnant, please contact your OB to discuss further.
2. Strep Pharyngitis (AKA strep throat):
If you’ve looked at my earlier blogs about “what is out there,” you’ll typically see strep throat on the list. As far as I’m concerned, strep is always on the list and this one is very important to treat as there are potential complications if it is not. Typical symptoms include fever, sore throat and maybe some vague abdominal pain. Cold symptoms (i.e. runny nose, cough) typically do not accompany strep throat.
3. Stomach/GI Ailments (AKA stomach bugs):
Maybe not the scientific names you are looking for so if you need one, how about norovirus infections. This includes the typical vomiting and diarrhea that can run right through the household (parents beware) so good hand washing is key.
4. Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease (AKA HFMD):
Although we often see this a little bit later in the year, I’m definitely seeing it right now and this is exactly what it sounds like; a rash typically develops on the hands, feet, and inside the mouth. We will often call this HFMBD, where the B stands for the buttock region as a rash can develop there as well. The lesions on the body typically do not cause any problems but the ones in the mouth can be very painful. Treatment involves supportive care (i.e. pain control and hydration.) The scientific name of the virus causing HFMD is enterovirus.
Shifting away from the illnesses, I must acknowledge allergies are currently going full throttle right now. Although allergies can occur any time during the year, springtime seems to be the time where most are affected. For a bit more info on the allergy discussion, please check out a recent blog I wrote here
Warmer days and nights mean more play time outside. More play time outside then leads to more accidents/injuries. Injuries are going to occur no matter how cautious one is, but it is always a good idea for parents to keep their eyes open to dangerous situations their children may be getting in to.
Ok, that being said, have a wonderful spring and for all those mothers reading this, I hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day.
- Dr. Jeremy
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