GREEN/ROCK COUNTIES (WKOW) -- For the week of February 21 - 27, we're adding more doctors to our list by checking in with clinics and health systems in Green and Rock Counties.
Dr. Mark Thompson with Monroe Clinic in Green County says many of the sore throats and coughs they're seeing are because of viral infections. Patients have a low-grade fever, red and swollen throat and trouble swallowing.
First, Dr. Thompson says to treat the fever with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Gargle with warm salt water or use an over-the-counter numbing spray. Warm tea or broth may help too. He says to see a doctor if you suspect you have a bacterial infection or if you have a temperature over 101 or if you have any of these symptoms: white spots on your throat, it's very difficult swallow, trouble breathing, a skin rash, recent exposure to someone with strep bacteria, severe hoarseness or swollen glands.
Dr. Hetalben Patel, a pediatrician with Community Health Systems of Wisconsin in Beloit says they're seeing bronchiolitis and pink eye this week. We talked about bronchiolitis in last week's segment of What's Going Around. To add to this information, Dr. Patel says to call 911 if your child stops breathing, starts to turn blue or very pale, has a hard time breathing or starts grunting. To prevent bronchiolitis, you should wash your child's hands often with soap and water or alcohol hand rubs. Stay away from other adults and children who are sick, and get a flu shot every year for you and your child.
Dr. Patel says she's also seeing pink eye in her clinic, which can be caused by infection, allergies or an irritant. Symptoms of pink eye are a red or pink eye(s), itchy, painful eye(s), green or yellow discharge and an eye that may be crusted shut in the morning.
Because it can be spread easily, you'll want to treat it if you can. Most pink eye infections are caused by a virus, so antibiotics won't help and it will go away on its own in a few days, Dr. Patel says. But if it is caused by a bacteria, you can treat it with antibiotic drops or gels. Use warm water and a wet cloth to remove the pus and dispose of it carefully. Clean the eye before putting in the antibiotic drops. If you wear contact lenses, you'll have to switch to glasses for awhile. Eye drops should be used for 24 hours before going back to school, Dr. Patel says.
Dr. Patel says with treatment, discharge should clear up in two to three days. The red eye may last up to a week. She says you should see a doctor if you eye is oozing or you're in pain. To prevent pink eye, use careful hand hygiene and try not to touch your eye, nose and mouth. Also, avoid sharing towels, bedding and clothes with someone who has pink eye.