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Asthma: What’s Going Around for the Week of July 31

The most consistent issue in Palm Springs this week is sinus and respiratory congestion. Dr. Michael Jardula says it’s probably related to the desert blooms of summer. If you’re like many others, and feeling healthy, it’s a good time to catch up on health maintenance.
This week Dr. Arturo Quintanilla treated several cases of bronchitis among his little patients in Rancho Mirage. This is somewhat usual during the summer, but one patient was even hospitalized with severe wheezing. He suspects it’s some sort of virus especially affecting those with asthma. He recommends any patient with a cough and high fever be seen by the pediatrician, especially if they have trouble with asthma.
It gets dusty during our desert summers. At the Mecca Clinic, Dr. Randolph Gibbs reminds us of the high rates of asthma in the east valley and Imperial County. Poor air quality, agricultural pesticides and dust from unpaved roads play a part in 1 in 5 children between the ages of 5 to 17 with asthma. ER visits are three times higher than the state average. Children should take the medications prescribed by their doctor, and follow up for treatment. Gibbs says this could curtail ER visits and reduce overall medical costs.

Upper respiratory tract infections are going around Palm Springs this week. Dr. Frank Arian says it passes in about three days without any antibiotics. “Patients are complaining of fever and chills, light sore throat with mild cough,” he describes. “It is passed on by touching dirty surfaces and then eating or rubbing eyes or putting fingers in your mouth, like biting finger nails, or by inhaling respiratory droplets from a contact.” He suggests copious hand washing to prevent this infection. Outer ear infections are also a chronic problem this time of year because of all the swimming. “It usually occurs because ears are not properly dried after swimming or showering,” says Gibbs. This can be serious among those with a compromised immune system, so keep your doctor in the loop. Kidney stones can also be exacerbated by the hot weather. Dehydration is the culprit, so drink up!
In La Quinta swimmer’s ear is still a concern. It’s that time of year! Environmental allergies are behind various rashes. The folks at Desert Oasis Healthcare Pediatrics are also treating a few cases of gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhea. But hand, foot and mouth disease has left as quickly as it came. They haven’t seen any cases in about a month.

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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