What's Going Around

By: Jennifer Dowling
By: Jennifer Dowling

We start with Doctor Fred Bean at the Meridian Family Practice on West Jolly Road in Okemos. He says patients are calling into his office with questions and concerns about the swine flu. He says the symptoms are similar to a regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache and chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with the swine flu. Like seasonal flu, Dr. Bean says swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

As far as prevention measures, Doctor Bean says the single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits help. That includes covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Also, he says it's a good idea to make it a practice of washing your hands for 20 seconds to stop the spread of germs. And, avoid close contact with people who are sick. If possible, stay away from work, school and errands if you are sick and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Doctor Hugh Brainard at the Ingham Internal Medicine and Pediatric Associates on Millennium Drive in Lansing says toddler's diarrhea is being reported in his office. He says it's most often caused by an excessive intake of fruit juices and other sugary beverages. Symptoms include a pattern of two to five loose stools daily in children that otherwise appear well. As far as treatments, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages routine use of fruit juice in children younger than 6 months. The doctors say toddlers will do best on a normal diet that includes 30% of total calories from fat and less than 4 to 6 ounces of juice per day.

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