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Scarlet Fever- What’s Going Around for the Week of May 22

Be careful about what you eat! That’s just one thing local doctors are talking about when looking at “What’s Going Around” the area where you live.

At the Mecca Clinic Dr. Randolph Gibbs has seen an increase in cases of gastroenteritis over the last several weeks. The cause is campylobacter, a bacterial foodborne disease. Patients are ranging from as young as four months, to as old as 83 years. Most people completely recover within two to five days with some simple therapeutic measures. Gibbs tells us there’s been some speculation that this infection is because of consuming queso fresco, Mexican-style fresh cheese, that is sold from vendors who are going door to door. Be very careful as these food outbreaks may also be associated with listeriosis or salmonella type organisms.
In La Quinta Dr. Erica Ruiz is tracking an outbreak of diarrhea with nausea and stomach cramps that lasts about three to four days. This is a virus that will eventually go away on its own. But she advises staying hydrated, and trying to eat if you can. The allergy season is also leaving with a bang. This last blooming of the flowers is causing sniffles, a dry cough and dry and itchy eyes. “This is usually treated with over-the-counter meds,” Ruiz says.
In Palm Springs, Dr. Michael Jardula tells us this past week his office was overwhelmed with sore throats and and upper respiratory congestion. The wind played a big role.
Also in Palm Springs, Dr. Frank Arian noticed a cluster of cellulitis, especially of the face. Patients had redness, warmth and swelling of the skin caused by bacteria. Keep your immune system healthy, and shower before and after getting into the pool. “One particular bacteria very hard to treat is pseudomonas, which is a problem here in the desert,” Arian says. “It is found in water reservoirs like air conditioners, jacuzzis, pools, pool toys especially those in storage.” He’s also seen several patients with urinary tract infections. He suggests wearing loose, baggy clothing, and showering after swimming. ” “Do not use ampicillin bought at swap meets,” Arian warns. “It does not work. Pyridium is used to treat the discomfort of UTIs but will NOT eradicate the organism. This is the over the counter pill that turns your urine orange. It is dangerous in overdose.”
An issue popped up that doctors haven’t seen in awhile in Rancho Mirage. Dr. Arturo Quintanilla has treated several children for scarlet fever. This starts with a strep throat infection, so if your child has a sore throat, high fever, and a fine, red rash on the chest and abdomen, see the doctor. This usually happens in the five to 15-year-old age group. “Any child with such findings needs to see his pediatrician,” Quintanilla explains. “Because treatment with antibiotics for strep throat is mandatory.”

Watch “What’s Going Around” Tuesday evenings at 5:30 and Wednesday mornings at 6:45 on CBS Local 2 News.

KESQ News Team


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