What's Going Around

In Okemos, Dr. Dennis Perry at Meridian Primary Care, a partner of McLaren-Greater Lansing, says strep throat, influenza, and Bell's Palsy are going around.

Let's start with strep.

Dr. Perry says the hallmark symptoms are: sudden, severe sore throat; pain when swallowing; fever over 101 degrees; and tender, swollen lymph nodes.

Other symptoms are fatigue, headache, and white or yellow patches on the tonsils and throat.

Children are prone to nausea and vomiting, and may develop a red rash on the skin known as Scarlet Fever.

See a doctor for antibiotics. Strep usually runs its course within three to seven days. Take Motrin or Tylenol for fever and pain, gargle with warm salt water, rest, and drink lots of fluids.

Dr. Perry has also seen a few cases of influenza.

Symptoms include: fever above 101 degrees, intense body aches, fatigue, sore throat, cough, headache and chills.

Flu and cold symptoms can be similar, but the flu is generally much more severe and onset is more sudden.

Most flu cases clear up on their own within seven to 10 days.

Rest, drink fluids, and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever control and body aches.

Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever has subsided.

Dr. Perry has also seen two cases of Bell's Palsy this week, which is unusual because it is non-communicable.

Bell's Palsy is paralysis or weakness of the face muscles, causing one side of the face to droop.

Other symptoms include: drooling, loss of taste, excessive eye tearing or dry eye, ear pain, and increased sensitivity to sound.

Bell's Palsy usually gets better on its own within a few weeks. There is no clear cut cause as to why people get it, but it is believed that the nerve that controls your facial muscles is damaged by inflammation, which could be linked to a viral infection.

Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids to reduce inflammation if that's what it's caused by, but if it's caused by a virus he or she may prescribe anti-virals.


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