What's Going Around: RMSF, Sinus Infections, Sore Throats, Allergies

Friday, May 9th 2014, 3:17 pm
By: News On 6

We've got a lot going on in my weekly segment of What's Going Around, so let's get up to speed with the doctors and nurses at the Muscogee Creek Nation Department of Health.

Physician Assistant Ronda Cherry, with the Wetumka Indian Health Center is seeing Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever.

This is a tick-borne disease, and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected tick. Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever (RMSF) is a serious illness that can be fatal in the first eight days of symptoms if not treated correctly, even in healthy people.

The progression of the disease varies greatly. The first symptoms of a sudden headache and fever begin 2-14 days after the bite. Other symptoms include rash, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal and muscle pain, lack of appetite and red eyes.

Patients who are treated early may recover quickly on outpatient medication, while those who experience a more severe course may require intravenous antibiotics, prolonged hospitalization or intensive care.

Dr. Kathryn Zackery at the Sapulpa Indian Health Center, said sinus infections are a problem right now. This can include headaches, facial pressure and fever, swelling around the eyes, as well as dental pain.

If Symptoms last longer than a week or get worse, go see your doctor.

Kim Hicks Jenkins, at the Muscogee Creek Nation Okmulgee Express Clinic and Doctor David Smith, at the Eufaula Indian Health Center are seeing lots of sore throats.

Sore throats can be caused by a viral infection, strep, sinus drainage, or allergies. Go see your doctor if your sore throat lasts longer than a week, if you develop a rash, a fever higher than 101, and joint pain or swelling in the neck.

Dr. Jim Harjo, at the Koweta Indian Health Facility says his patients are complaining of allergies. When you have allergies it's not uncommon to feel tired and fatigued.

For mild allergy symptoms over the counter anti-histamines and a nasal saline spray work well, however if it is severe, a nasal steroid and prescribed medication should work.

Finally, Doctor Billy Beets, at the Okemah Indian Health Center is seeing people for the common cold.

Symptoms can be similar to allergies and sore throats, such as a stuffy or runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and coughing as well as a low grade fever. If you start having trouble breathing or your chest hurts or ears hurt, go see your doctor as it could be something more serious.