Area schools report a large number of students calling in sick, and pediatricians say their offices are busy all day. It's not just one bug biting our children.
News on Six reporter Tami Marler shows us what's going around. Last week's snow may have given kids a day off, but as one busy pediatrician shows us, we may be paying a heavy price this week. Dr. Patrick Daley, Pediatrician: "We don't know how to dress the kids to go to school, the germs are spreading, and it's crazy around here."
Two-month-old Christopher Harter hasn't been sleeping or nursing very well. Momâ€™s instincts say it's an ear infection. "We're smiling, smiling is a good sign. He seems pretty happy." Daley says that smile means it's probably not serious; still, mom's instincts were right. "So he does have an ear infection, we do want to put him on some medicine."
Daley's writing a lot of antibiotic prescriptions for bacterial infections like Christopher's, also for strep throat and bacterial pneumonia, but viral infections is another story. "You can get pneumonia with it; you can get anywhere, ear infection with adnovirus. And the problem with it again, it's a viral infection that these kids get very sick with and nothing helps." Antibiotics won't help a viral infection, with a fever of more than 101.5, body aches and fatigue, coughing, and thick, clear to yellowish nasal drainage. "It started to slow down a tiny bit, and here again this week, we're back where we were. I mean strep is out the door; kids are out of school; and I'm keeping them out. The main concern with children going back early is because their immune system is down also.â€
Christopher Johnstone has been home sick for ten days. His mother, Vicki Johnstone takes school rules seriously, so she'll keep him home until his symptoms and fever are gone for 24 hours, which protects both him and his classmates. "We're gonna be fine. If it changes; if we need something different then you will let me know."
Daley says the best way to avoid the bug the next few weeks is to wash hands often; and keep sick kids at home.