What's Going Around

We start at Allegiance Family Medicine in Mason, where Nurse Practitioner Jena King is treating a lot of kids with gastroenteritis.

Symptoms of the virus include low-grade fever, nausea with vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. You may also have a headache or body aches.

Gastroenteritis is contagious, so you should avoid sharing food, drinks or utensils with anyone who has it.

You can contact your doctor but the virus usually goes away on its own within 10 days.

It is important to drink a lot of fluids so you don't get dehydrated.

In Okemos, Dr. Dennis Perry at Meridian Primary Care, a partner of Ingham Regional Medical Center, is treating a nasty viral illness, too.

Its main symptoms are a very bad sore throat, headache, high fever, hoarseness, fatigue, neck pain, and cough.

Take Tylenol or Ibuprofen for fever control and pain relief, drink lots of fluids, gargle with salt water, and get plenty of rest.

Call your doctor if your child has a fever as high as 104 degrees.

Dr. Perry is also treating hay fever.

Symptoms include runny, stuffy nose; itchy nose, eyes or throat; wheezing; sneezing; sinus pressure; and tearing at the eyes.

To treat hay fever, take antihistamines.

You can also try saline sprays two to three times a day, or steroid nasal sprays.

If you have asthma, stick to your treatment regimen.

Poison ivy is also keeping Dr. Perry busy.

If you have it, you'll get an itchy, red raised rash that often appears in lines or streaks. The rash forms blisters that break open and ooze fluid, eventually crusting over.

You may also have localized swelling, or a feeling of warmth at the exposed area.

Poison ivy can usually be treated at home.

Wash the affected area with soap and water. Same goes for your clothes.

Take oral antihistamines and try cold compresses.

Try not to scratch because that can spread bacteria. See a doctor if your case is serious.

Without treatment, the rash usually lasts anywhere from 10 days to three weeks. If you are very sensitive to the oil in the poison ivy plant, it may take up to six weeks for the rash to heal.


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