What's Going Around

In Okemos, Dr. Dennis Perry at Meridian Primary Care, a partner of Ingham Regional, says the new bug in town is respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

In adults, RSV acts like a cold. Symptoms include: runny, stuffy nose; fever; headache; decreased appetite; wheezing; breathing difficulties and cough. Kids under age one have a higher risk of developing asthma-like symptoms.

To treat RSV, prop up the head to make it easier to breathe and sleep, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air, and get plenty of rest. You need to drink a lot of fluids, too.

You can bundle up your child and take him or her outside in the cool night air to help their breathing. A hot shower can help with that, too.

See a doctor if your child is acting particularly tired or ill, has a high fever, or has trouble breathing.

You should watch out for signs of pneumonia, which Dr. Perry is also treating.

Symptoms of bacterial pneumonia come on suddenly, oftentimes after the flu or a cold. They include cough, fever, wheezing, tightness in chest, fatigue and fast, shallow breathing.

To treat bacterial pneumonia, see a doctor, as you do need antibiotics.

You should also drink fluids, get plenty of rest and take Tylenol to reduce fever.

In Lansing, Dr. Thomas Stout at Mount Hope Community Medical Center, a partner of Ingham Regional, is treating gastroenteritis.

Symptoms include: stomach cramping or discomfort, bloating, nausea and diarrhea. You may also have a low-grade fever.

Gastroenteritis usually clears up on its own without specific treatment.

Drink plenty of fluids-- Gatorade for adults, Pedialyte for kids.

You can start a B.R.A.T. diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) after 24 hours of a liquid diet without vomiting.

Watch out for dehydration. Young kids and the elderly are particularly susceptible.

Signs of dehydration in kids include no tears when they cry, dry mouth and decreased urination. Dizziness, light-headedness, confusion or changes in mental state are signs of severe dehydration, and warrant immediate medical attention.


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