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More Chicken Pox: What’s Going Around for the Week of July 3

A childhood illness is making a comeback in the Mid-Valley. And it’s not only affecting kids. That’s just one thing local doctors are talking about when looking at “What’s Going Around” the area where you live.

Despite the summer heat, people in Palm Springs are still being plagued with upper-respiratory and sinus infections courtesy of the good old desert winds and blooming flowers. Even those who have never been known to have allergies are being affected, Dr. Michael Jardula reports.
The queso fresco contamination of a couple weeks ago in Mecca hasn’t picked up again, but Dr. Gibbs is still seeing gastrointestinal infections. This viral infection seems to involve all age groups. Rota virus is the primary cause among young children. Rehydrating solutions and anti-diarrheal agents can help, offers Dr. Randolph Gibbs. Heat exhaustion is also a problem for patients working in the fields. The key is prevention, with appropriate clothing, hydration, rest and cool compresses.
Dr. Frank Arian saw a few cases of heat exhaustion this week in Palm Springs after this run of high temperatures. Cool, clammy, pale skin, a dry mouth, and dark urine are symptoms. He says smoking is the worst thing you can do on a hot day because the nicotine prevents the body from shunting hot blood to the skin’s surface where it can be radiated off. “The body literally cooks itself from the inside out !” Arian says. Sinusitis is still going around Palm Springs. Dr. Arian also noticed a cluster of patients with cellulitis, or skin infection. Keep your immune system healthy, go easy on the booze, take a daily vitamin, and avoid the complications that can come from cellulitis. “One particular bacteria very hard to treat is pseudomonas and is a problem here in the desert,” he reports. “It is found in water reservoirs like air conditioners, jacuzzis, pools, and pool toys, especially those in storage.”
Shingles are the big story in La Quinta. This painful skin condition is caused by a virus and needs to be treated by a doctor. Dr. Erica Ruiz says chicken pox is also going around among babies younger than 1 year old. It’s also caused by a virus. Most people are immune, either because of an immunization shot, or because they’ve had chicken pox before. Chicken pox is very contagious to those who are not immune, and will cause shingles among the elderly.

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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