What's Going Around

We start in Albion, where Dr. Miranda Makulski with Allegiance Family Medicine is treating bronchitis on a daily basis.

The symptoms she's treating include: a persistent, nagging cough that can last from 10-20 days; congestion; clear, yellow, or green mucus; and sore throat.

Fever is not usually a sign of bronchitis. It could be a sign of the flu or pneumonia.

To treat bronchitis, take ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen for pain relief. Pseudo-ephedrine is a decongestant that can help with nasal congestion. Antihistamines like Benadryl may help too.

You can also breathe hot, humidified air.

In Okemos, Dr. Dennis Perry at Meridian Primary Care, a partner of Ingham Regional Medical Center, says swimmer's ear is going around.

Some of the first signs are mild discomfort, itching in the ear canal, and drainage of odorless, colorless fluid.

As it gets worse, you may also experience ear pain, decreased or muffled hearing, drainage of waxy fluid, and feeling of fullness in the ear.

See a doctor as soon as possible, if you are experiencing any symptoms of swimmer's ear.

Prescription ear drops are the most common course of treatment.

You should keep the infected ear as dry as possible.

Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain and apply warm compresses to the outside of the ear.

Dr. Perry is also treating insect bites.

Symptoms include: redness, swelling and itching near the bite area.

You should remove the stinger, clean the area with soap and water, and apply ice.

Antihistamines like Zyrtec or Claritin can help with itching. Apply hydro-cortisone cream or a baking soda paste to the affected area.

Try not to scratch. That can lead to an infection.

Some people can have severe allergic reactions to bug bites. If you have trouble breathing, swelling of the lips or throat, a rapid heartbeat, confusion, hives, vomiting or nausea, or if you feel faint, you should seek immediate treatment.


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