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what's the bug that's going around?

Lingering, cold-like viruses have been making their way around various communities in recent weeks. Here are the illnesses that reports indicate are on the rise!

What's Going Around?

As wintertime illnesses begin to spike, many reports indicate specific commonalities in symptoms. Patients are experiencing a cough, runny nose, low-grade fever, and congestion that seems to linger longer than a usual cold.

While reports don’t currently suggest a “new” viral strain, here’s what illnesses are beginning to peak in the Houston area and other major communities according to various hospital reports:

Current Trending Illnesses

Bronchiolitis: Bronchiolitis is a respiratory infection that affects the small airways in the lungs. It is most common in infants and young children. Symptoms of bronchiolitis include cough, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and fever.

RSV: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. It is a major cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in infants and young children, particularly those under 2 years of age. RSV can also cause serious illness in older adults and people with weakened immune systems.

Croup: Croup is a respiratory infection that causes swelling in the airways. It is most common in children under the age of three. Symptoms of croup include a barking cough, difficulty breathing, and stridor (a high-pitched wheezing sound).

Enterovirus: Enteroviruses are a group of viruses that can cause a variety of illnesses, including hand, foot, and mouth disease, herpangina, and pink eye. Most enterovirus infections are mild and go away on their own within a week or two. However, some enterovirus infections can be more serious, such as meningitis and polio.

Keep Your Little Ones Healthy This Winter

Here's how to prepare for RSV season!

Flu: The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause a variety of symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Most people who get the flu recover within a few weeks without needing medical care. However, the flu can be serious for young children, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions.

Strep Throat: Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes a sore throat. It is most common in children between the ages of five and fifteen. Symptoms of strep throat include a sore throat, fever, headache, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. If you think your child may have strep throat, it is important to see a doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Allergies: Allergies are a common problem for both children and adults. They can cause a variety of symptoms, including sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and skin rash.

Colds: Colds are a common viral infection that causes a variety of symptoms, including runny nose, cough, sore throat, and congestion. Most colds go away on their own within a week or two.

Tips for Treatment

  • Consult your doctor: If you or your child are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s always important to consult your doctor for a firm diagnosis.
  • Get vaccinated: There are vaccines that protect against the flu and RSV. To schedule a vaccination appointment at Next Level, click here!
  • Wash your hands frequently: Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick: If you are sick, stay home from work or school to avoid spreading your illness to others.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces: This includes doorknobs, countertops, and light switches.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Winter month illnesses are common difficult given the influx of unhealthy foods consumed during the holidays. Do your best to maintain a well-balanced diet and exercise routine. Your body will thank you!
  • Dress for the weather: Texas weather can especially be hit or miss. Check the forecast, dress appropriately, and make sure to bundle up during cool weather!

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