What's Going Around

We start in Jackson, where Dr. Bernice Pritchett of Allegiance Family Medicine is treating poison ivy.

You may have a very itchy rash one to two days after contact. The affected area will get red and swollen and a day later small blisters will begin to form.

To treat poison ivy, wash the area with cool water right away.

Apply products with mineral oil, and wash your clothes, shoes and skin.

You can try hydro-cortisone creams, calamine lotion, and antihistamine tablets like Benadryl.

Call your doctor if your poison ivy seems severe.

In Okemos, Dr. James Brouillette at Meridian Pediatric Associates, a partner of Ingham Regional Medical Center, is treating secondary infections from insect bites.

Most bites cause local reactions, which include redness, swelling, pain and itching.

It can be hard to tell if there's also a secondary infection, which usually occurs after the first 24 hours and can cause spreading redness, especially red streaks.

If the skin is broken open by itching, it is likely a secondary infection.

A fever would also be cause for concern.

Inspect your kids after they've been outside, and keep an eye on bug bites.

Use DEET insect repellent and don't scratch any bites.

If you think there's a secondary infection, see a doctor. He or she may prescribe antibiotics.

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

Symptoms include: cough, wheezing, fever, facial pressure, headache, dental pain and swollen lymph nodes.

To treat a URI, rest and drink a lot of fluids.

Take Tylenol for fever and headache, take throat lozenges, and inhale warm moist air.

A URI should clear up in about seven to 10 days, but if symptoms persist, you should see a doctor.

Nasty discolored mucus is an indication that you may have a secondary bacterial infection, not just a virus. This should be treated by a doctor.


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