What's Going Around

We start with Dr. Mark Schaar of the DeWitt Family Practice in DeWitt. He says allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is going around this week.

Symptoms include sneezing, sniffling, nasal congestion, sleep disruption, red puffy eyes, itchy throat and sometimes even hives.

Hay fever is caused by the pollen in ragweed, so you should minimize your exposure to the plant, by staying inside during peak pollen count times (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), changing clothes after being outside, and keeping the air conditioning on in the car. Nasal irrigation and over-the-counter antihistamines like Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec are helpful, too.

And Dr. Earl Reisdorff, from the Ingham Regional Medical Center in Lansing, says viral meningitis is also going around.

You might have it, if your head hurts all over, if you have a stiff neck, or if you have a fever higher than 100.4 degrees.

See a doctor as soon as possible if you think you have viral meningitis.

There's no specific treatment for it, but at-home treatments include bed rest, plenty of fluids, and medication to relieve fever and headache.
Symptoms usually clear up in three to five days, and most patients recover on their own within a few weeks.

Viral meningitis is not the same as bacterial meningitis, which is much more serious, but the symptoms can be similar.

You should see a doctor immediately, if the pain can't be controlled, or if you're vomiting.


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