It's time to take a look at what illnesses and ailments are going around the Tri-Cities..
Sallie Lively, a family nurse practitioner with Wellmont Medical Associates in Kingsport says she has seen a recent increase in mononucleosis. She says many times a streptococcal pharyngitis is thought to be "mono" by the patient.
Lively says, "Mono is caused by the Epstein Barr virus. Symptoms usually present about four to six weeks after the infection occurs. Symptoms include EXTREME fatigue, fever, sore throat, head and body aches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash.
There is no vaccine to prevent it. You can protect yourself by not kissing or sharing drinks, food or personal items such as toothbrushes with people who have infectious mono."
She adds drinking fluids and getting plenty of rest helps to relieve some of the symptoms. See your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis.
Christina Hammonds, a family nurse practitioner with Wellmont Medical Associates in Big Stone Gap, Va. She said she has treated some cases of ear infections in adults but said a lot of children have them at this time of year as well.
Here's Hammonds' explanation of ear infections:
An ear infection may start with a cold and affect the middle ear (otitis media). It can hurt a lot. Most ear infections clear up on their own in a couple of days and do not need antibiotics. Also, antibiotics do not work against viruses, which may be the cause of your infection. Regular doses of pain relievers are the best way to reduce your fever and help you feel better.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems.
How can you care for yourself at home?
Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, take an over-the-counter medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Do not take two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
Plan to take a full dose of pain reliever before bedtime. Getting enough sleep will help you.
Try a warm, moist washcloth on the ear to see if it helps relieve pain.
If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to finish all antibiotics.
When should you call for help?
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
You have new or increasing ear pain.
You have new or increasing pus or blood draining from your ear.
You have a fever with a stiff neck or a severe headache.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any concerns.
Dr. Jared Hess, a family medicine physician with Wellmont Medical Associates in Bristol, Tennessee is seeing a decrease in flu cases. That's great news! However, the stomach bug seems to be increasing in frequency.
Dr. Hess says, "People should make sure they are drinking enough fluids and washing their hands. If you are sick with either of these illnesses, stay away from work/school for a couple of days, if possible. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing."
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