Hand-foot-mouth disease is still plaguing our valley’s youngest residents. That’s just one thing local doctors are talking about when looking at “What’s Going Around” the area where you live.
In Palm Springs Dr. Michael Jardula is seeing a resurgence of bronchitis over the last week, along with several cases of pneumonia. He says “once again, what seems like a harmless ‘cold” has some lethal potential, so beware.”
The big story in Indio is gastroenteritis, which is often called stomach flu. But the influenza virus does not cause it. Gastroenteritis is caused by an intestinal virus that is easily spread from person to person. You can also get sick by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Poor hand-washing most commonly transmits viruses. Dr. Arthur Davis says wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, and be cautious of common areas where viruses can linger for hours, like break rooms, counter tops, the coffee pot, copy and fax machines. The biggest risk from gastroenteritis is dehydration. “Don’t drink too much at one time,” Dr. Davis advises. “It is best to take small frequent sips or suck on ice cubes.” He also says, “See your doctor if you are unable to keep any fluids down. Avoid dairy, caffeine, and spicy foods until you feel better, and get plenty of rest.”
And at the Mecca Clinic, cellulitis is a problem. This soft-tissue bacterial skin infection is especially prevalent in diabetics. Impetigo is most commonly seen in children between two and five years old. Dr. Randolph Gibbs also says hand, foot, mouth virus is still a problem with the pediatric population.
One of the classic problems doctors see during swim season is going around Palm Springs. Dr. Frank Arian saw several patients with outer ear infections that included smelly discharge and ear pain. In most cases, it’s treated with antibiotic drops, but if the ear canal swells, the doctor will use a wick to drain the discharge, and then wick medication back to the site of infection. Diarrhea is also going around. Eating probiotic foods, and limiting your exposure to antibiotics can help prevent diarrhea. And once again, dehydration is an issue. The single most common complaint is fatigue and malaise. If you’re not vomiting, Dr. Arian says to try electrolyte replacements, like Gatorade or Pedialyte.
In Coachella, Dr. Frank Curry saw chicken pox. Parents can vaccinate their children against this virus, which causes itchy blisters all over the skin. You are contagious with chicken pox for one to two days before the blisters appear.
Watch “What’s Going Around” Tuesday evenings at 5:30 and Wednesday mornings at 6:45 on CBS Local 2 News.