This week, pediatricians at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital are seeing seasonal allergies, many colds, gastrointestinal illnesses, bronchitis, RSV, COVID and some cases of the flu.
CVS MinuteClinic in York is reporting viral upper respiratory infections, strep throat and some cases of the flu this week.
WellSpan Pediatric Medicine doctors across the Midstate are seeing respiratory illnesses, including RSV and COVID. They also suffer from hand, foot and mouth disease.
Providers at UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics in York and Spring Grove continue to experience strep throat cases. They also contract RSV, flu, croup and hand, foot and mouth disease this week.
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics reports ongoing cases of viral croup this week. Additionally, increased wheezing occurs due to viral infections and asthma exacerbations.
They continued to see sporadic cases of COVID, strep throat, sinus and ear infections caused by colds and other viral illnesses, and some cases of the flu.
Dr. Joan Thode gave the following advice about the flu:
“Flu shots are in stock, and it’s time to get your child and yourself vaccinated for the upcoming flu season.”
What are the most common complications of influenza infection?
The most common problem resulting from an influenza infection is pneumonia, an infection of the lungs with bacteria that triggers a strong immune response and can affect breathing and the body’s ability to absorb enough oxygen. In severe cases, influenza pneumonia can lead to respiratory failure and the need for assisted ventilation. Symptoms to watch for include shortness of breath, worsening wet cough associated with fever, chest tightness, and chest pain.
The heart can be affected, causing a condition called myocarditis, in which the tissues of the heart become inflamed and the heart works less efficiently. Symptoms to look out for include increasing fatigue, chest pain, chest pressure, and shortness of breath.
Fever can cause seizures and the severe syndrome of sore throat, fatigue and muscle aches can lead to dehydration.
Which specific patient groups are at higher risk of flu complications?
Babies under six months of age are at the highest risk of death because their immune systems are not as strong and they cannot be vaccinated against flu until they are six months old.
Infants under five years of age, especially children under two years of age, are at highest risk for complications requiring hospitalization.
Chronic respiratory disease
Asthmatics are at particular risk of serious lung complications from influenza because they have a high tendency to develop pneumonia to begin with.
Conditions that cause low muscle tone and promote aspiration and fluid entry into the lungs, which is more likely due to the inability to cough adequately.
Decreased immune system function
If HIV is left untreated, immune cells are not produced and are therefore present in much lower numbers than are sufficient to fight infection.
The immune system is weakened to prevent the immune system from attacking the fetus.
Drugs that suppress the immune system, including high-dose steroids for autoimmune diseases and chemotherapy for cancer.
Chronic diseases that affect the function of at least one organ system. This increases the likelihood that influenza will cause organ system failure because organ function is already impaired.
Chronic kidney disease
Sickle cell anemia